How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Dundee Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dundee IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the Dundee IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions 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 tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Dundee IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some 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 typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have time to go to 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, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Dundee IL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Dundee IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind 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, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Dundee IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Dundee IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get 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 opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Dundee IL area health care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Dundee health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Dundee IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dundee IL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dundee Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dundee IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
West Dundee, Illinois
According to the 2010 census, West Dundee has a total area of 3.811 square miles (9.87 km2), of which 3.71 square miles (9.61 km2) (or 97.35%) is land and 0.101 square miles (0.26 km2) (or 2.65%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,428 people, 2,059 households, and 1,453 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,040.5 people per square mile (787.9/km²). There were 2,103 housing units at an average density of 790.6 per square mile (305.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.92% White, 0.61% African American, 0.39% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 1.40% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.26% of the population.
There were 2,059 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.18.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Dundee IL
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing 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, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Student. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Dundee IL.
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