Medical Assistant To Medical School Berwyn IL

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Berwyn Illinois

Berwyn IL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Berwyn IL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Berwyn IL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Berwyn IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Berwyn IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Berwyn ILThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Berwyn IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Berwyn IL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Berwyn IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Berwyn IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Berwyn IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Berwyn IL area medical providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Berwyn healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Berwyn IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Berwyn IL, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Berwyn Illinois?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Berwyn IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Berwyn, Illinois

Berwyn /ˈbɜːrwɪn/ is a suburban city in Cook County, Illinois, coterminous with Berwyn Township, which was formed in 1908 after breaking off from Cicero Township. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,657.[3]

Before being settled, the land that is now Berwyn was traversed by Native American trails. The most important trails converged near the Chicago portage, and two significant routes crossed what is today Berwyn. A branch of the Trail to Green Bay crossed Berwyn at what is now Riverside Drive, and the Ottawa Trail spanned the southern end of the city.[4]

In 1846, the first land in "Berwyn" was deeded to Theodore Doty who built the 8-foot-wide (2.4 m) Plank Road from Chicago to Ottawa along the Ottawa Trail. The trail had been used as a French and Indian trade route and more recently as a stage coach route to Lisle.[5] This thoroughfare became what is now Ogden Avenue in South Berwyn. In 1856, Thomas F. Baldwin purchased 347 acres (1.40 km2) of land, bordered by what is now Ogden Avenue, Ridgeland Avenue, 31st Street, and Harlem Avenue, in hopes of developing a rich and aristocratic community called "LaVergne".[6] However, few people were interested in grassy marshland. Mud Lake extended nearly to the southern border of today's Berwyn, and the land flooded regularly during heavy rains. The only mode of transportation to LaVergne was horse and buggy on the Plank Road.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Berwyn IL

Berwyn IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Medical School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Berwyn IL.

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