How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Dekalb Illinois
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dekalb IL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Dekalb IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Dekalb IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational 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 frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have time to go to 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 attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Dekalb IL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Dekalb IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Dekalb IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Dekalb IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Dekalb IL area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Dekalb healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Dekalb IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may 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 offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dekalb IL, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dekalb Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dekalb IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
DeKalb /dɪˈkælb/ is a city in DeKalb County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43,862 according to the 2010 census, up from 39,018 at the 2000 census. The city is named after decorated Franconian-French war hero Johann de Kalb, who died during the American Revolutionary War.
DeKalb was originally called Huntley’s Grove, and under the latter name was platted in 1853. The name is for Baron Johann de Kalb, a major general in the American Revolutionary War. A post office has been in operation at DeKalb since 1849. The development of barbed wire is key in the history of DeKalb. Joseph Glidden, who developed barbed wire, was a historic citizen of DeKalb. Glidden would ultimately be known as the “Father of Barbed Wire”. Glidden began to mass produce his invention, and eventually sold half of the company to Isaac L. Ellwood. Together, the two formed the Barb Fence Company.
The city of DeKalb is in northern Illinois, United States, roughly 55 miles west of downtown Chicago and roughly 30 miles southeast of Rockford, IL. The Kishwaukee River flows northward through the city of DeKalb.
Select the Best Medical Assistant School Dekalb IL
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is 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 acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. 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 addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Summer Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Dekalb IL.
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