How Long To Become A Medical Assistant Clarendon Hills IL

How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Clarendon Hills Illinois

Clarendon Hills IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Clarendon Hills IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the schools 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 credentials and training that are available.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

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

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Clarendon Hills IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Clarendon Hills ILThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Clarendon Hills IL area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Clarendon Hills IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Clarendon Hills IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Clarendon Hills IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Clarendon Hills IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’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 school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Clarendon Hills IL area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Clarendon Hills medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Clarendon Hills IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment 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 on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clarendon Hills IL, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Clarendon Hills Illinois?

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

Clarendon Hills, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Clarendon Hills has a total area of 1.81 square miles (4.69 km2), of which 1.8 square miles (4.66 km2) (or 99.45%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.55%) is water.[5]

As of the census of 2006, there were 8,572 people, 2,836 households, and 2,056 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,377.1 people per square mile (1,688.6/km²). There were 2,939 housing units at an average density of 1,690.4 per square mile (652.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.07% White, 0.84% African American, 0.01% Native American, 3.52% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.37% of the population.[7]

There were 2,836 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.21.

Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Clarendon Hills IL

Clarendon Hills IL medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information 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 upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long To Become A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Clarendon Hills IL.

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