How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Carol Stream Illinois
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Carol Stream IL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Carol Stream IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. 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 support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties 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 samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Carol Stream IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Carol Stream IL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Carol Stream IL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Carol Stream 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 factors that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Carol Stream IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Carol Stream IL area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Carol Stream medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Carol Stream IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Carol Stream IL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Carol Stream Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Carol Stream IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Carol Stream, Illinois
Carol Stream is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Incorporated on January 5, 1959, and named after the developer's daughter, Carol Stream had a population of 39,711 as of the 2010 United States Census. In 2011 CNN's Money Magazine ranked Carol Stream 49th on its list of 100 best places to live in the United States.
In 1853, St. John Wahlund Catholic Church was built in Gretna. The church was closed in 1867. When St. Michael Church was opened in Wheaton in 1872, the St. Stephen parishioners were transferred to that parish. The church building was dismantled sometime in the late 19th century. St. Stephen Cemetery was located adjacent to the church building. It was last used for burial in 1910. The St. Stephen Cemetery (located north of the Great Western Trail behind Meyer Material Company on St. Charles Road) was rededicated 100 years later on September 12, 2010.
A common misconception is that the municipality of Carol Stream was named for a local minor waterway. In fact, Carol Stream is one of the few communities in America that took its name from the first and last names of a living person: Carol Stream, the daughter of its founder Jay Stream.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant School Carol Stream IL
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Program. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Carol Stream IL.
More Medical Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 602