How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Glencoe Illinois
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Glencoe IL, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 important factors as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Glencoe IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential 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 tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Glencoe 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 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, 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 alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Glencoe IL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the best option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Glencoe IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating 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 Glencoe IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, 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 enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Glencoe IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges 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 select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Glencoe IL area health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Glencoe medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Glencoe IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glencoe IL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might 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 issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Glencoe Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Glencoe IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Glencoe (/ˈɡlɛnˌkoʊ/) is a village in northeastern Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the total population was 8,723. Glencoe is located on Chicago's North Shore and is located within the New Trier High School District. Glencoe ranks 1st among the top 10 most successful cities in the US. It is an affluent town, ranked 2nd among the richest towns in Illinois and 12th among the richest towns in US.
According to the 2010 census, Glencoe has a total area of 3.781 square miles (9.79 km2), of which 3.72 square miles (9.63 km2) (or 98.39%) is land and 0.061 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 1.61%) is water.
Glencoe is located on the west side of Lake Michigan. It is separated from suburbs to the north and west by more than 1,200 acres (490 ha) of the Cook County Forest Preserve natural forest area. Three golf clubs also buffer it, with the private Lake Shore Country Club on the north, the public Glencoe Golf Club (operated by the village of Glencoe) on the northwest, and the private Skokie Country Club on the west.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Glencoe IL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 Medical Assistant Externship. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Glencoe IL.
More Medical Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 946