Becoming A Medical Assistant Glen Ellyn IL

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Glen Ellyn Illinois

Glen Ellyn IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Glen Ellyn IL, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students start by evaluating 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Glen Ellyn IL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Glen Ellyn IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Illinois law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn 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

Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Glen Ellyn IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Glen Ellyn ILThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Glen Ellyn IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Glen Ellyn IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Glen Ellyn IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Glen Ellyn IL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete 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 exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Glen Ellyn IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

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

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Glen Ellyn IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction 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 face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glen Ellyn IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Glen Ellyn Illinois?

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

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The first landowner in Glen Ellyn was Deacon Winslow Churchill. He and his family moved to Glen Ellyn from New York in 1834. Other newcomers to the area built town necessities such as a tavern and school.[5]

Moses Stacy, a soldier in the War of 1812, arrived here in 1835. His inn, Stacy's Tavern, built in 1846 and his second home, was a halfway stop between Chicago and the Fox River Valley and a probable stop for Galena, Illinois stagecoaches on their way to Rockford, Illinois. Stacy's Tavern, now a historical monument, stands at what is now the intersection of Geneva Road and Main Street.[6]

In 1849, construction of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad through Glen Ellyn was finished. The area around the railroad became the center of the town. At first, trains running through the town on the railway did not stop there. A local man named Lewey Q. Newton made an offer to the railroad company: Newton would build a depot and water tank out of his own pocket if the railroad would require trains to stop there. The depot that Newton built became known as Newtown Station.[5]

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant School Glen Ellyn IL

Glen Ellyn IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Becoming A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Glen Ellyn IL.

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