Clinical Medical Assistant Training Edwardsville IL

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Edwardsville Illinois

Edwardsville IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Edwardsville IL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant 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 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 Role of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Edwardsville IL nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Edwardsville IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Training

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Edwardsville 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 two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component 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.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Edwardsville ILThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Edwardsville IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Edwardsville IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Edwardsville IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Edwardsville IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Edwardsville IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Edwardsville IL area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Edwardsville health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Edwardsville IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? 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 furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Edwardsville IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Edwardsville Illinois?

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

Edwardsville, Illinois

Edwardsville is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,293. It is the county seat of Madison County.[3] The city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, then Governor of the Illinois Territory.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Arts Center, the Edwardsville Journal, the Madison County Record, and the Edwardsville Intelligencer are here. Edwardsville High School and Metro-East Lutheran High School serve students in the area.

Edwardsville is a part of Southern Illinois, the Metro East region, and Greater St. Louis. It is part of the Edwardsville School District, which also includes the villages of Glen Carbon, Hamel, and Moro, as well as the townships areas around them.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Edwardsville IL

Edwardsville IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate 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 must get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many 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, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Edwardsville IL.

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