How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Glenview Illinois
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Glenview IL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Glenview IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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 Training Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Glenview IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Glenview IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Glenview IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Glenview IL with the lowest 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 should explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Glenview IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Glenview IL area medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Glenview healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Glenview IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glenview IL, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Glenview Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Glenview IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Glenview is a village located in Cook County, Illinois, United States, approximately 15 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop, and roughly 3.5 miles from the City of Chicago's far northwest border. Glenview, along with nearby towns Mount Prospect, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Niles and Morton Grove make up the major outskirt suburbs neighboring the city's Far Northwest Side. As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 44,692. The current population is estimated to be approximately 47,475.  The current village President is Jim Patterson.
According to the 2010 census, Glenview has a total area of 13.992 square miles (36.24 km2), of which 13.95 square miles (36.13 km2) (or 99.7%) is land and 0.042 square miles (0.11 km2) (or 0.3%) is water.Glenview Creek drains the southeastern corner of the village, emptying into the Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River north of Old Orchard Road and just west of Harms Road.
As of the 2010 census, there were 44,692 people, and 16,783 households residing in the village. The population density was 3,203.7 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 77.2% White (75% white non-Hispanic), 2.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 13.5% Asian (6% Korean, 2.9% Indian, 2.1% Chinese, 1.3% Filipino, 1.0% Other Asian, 0.5% Japanese, 0.1% Vietnamese), 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.5% other, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7% of the population.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Glenview IL
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your decision. 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 discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 Medical Assistant Education. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Glenview IL.
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