Medical Assistant Career Grayslake IL

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Grayslake Illinois

Grayslake IL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Grayslake IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Grayslake IL nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Grayslake IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Illinois law, some choose 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Grayslake IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Grayslake ILThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Grayslake IL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Grayslake IL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Grayslake IL medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Grayslake 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 considerations that you should examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Grayslake IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out 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 of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive 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 opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Grayslake IL area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Grayslake healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Grayslake IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Grayslake IL, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, 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 Grayslake Illinois?

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

Grayslake, Illinois

Grayslake is a village in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is located in the Chicago metropolitan area, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Chicago's downtown, 14 miles (23 km) west of Lake Michigan, and 15 miles (24 km) south of the Wisconsin border. The village's population at the 2010 census was 20,957.[4]

Grayslake is home to the College of Lake County, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake Central High School, the University Center of Lake County and the Lake County Fairgrounds. There are tentative plans to develop a lifestyle shopping center on the previous location of the Lake County Fairgrounds.[5] At the south end of Grayslake, there are plans for a 640-acre (260 ha) development containing light industry, office space and residential space.[citation needed]

In 1880, the Wisconsin Central Railroad built a line from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Chicago which passed by the east side of Grays Lake. In 1886, the railroad built a station there, naming it Grayslake. The village incorporated in 1895.[1]

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Grayslake IL

Grayslake IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Grayslake IL.

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