What Do Medical Assistants Do Brookfield IL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Brookfield Illinois

Brookfield IL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Brookfield IL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Brookfield IL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Brookfield IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can 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. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

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

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Illinois law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training Courses

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Brookfield IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Brookfield ILThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Brookfield IL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Brookfield IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Brookfield IL medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Brookfield IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Brookfield IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Brookfield IL area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Brookfield medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Brookfield IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Brookfield IL, verify 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 all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Brookfield Illinois?

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

Brookfield, Illinois

Brookfield (formerly Grossdale) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 13 miles (21 km) west of downtown Chicago. Its population was 18,978 at the 2010 census.[3] The city is home to the Brookfield Zoo.

According to the 2010 census, Brookfield has a total area of 3.067 square miles (7.94 km2), of which 3.06 square miles (7.93 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.007 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.[5]

Most of Brookfield is flat land with various small hills and rises. Along Salt Creek is a steep ravine that is home to many oak savannas. These oak savannas are the primary ecosystem of Brookfield, and sprawl out from large, forested areas into small pockets in the village.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Brookfield IL

Brookfield IL medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Do Medical Assistants Do. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Brookfield IL.

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