How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Hoffman Estates Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hoffman Estates IL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges 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 available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Hoffman Estates IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices 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. 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 tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Courses
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Hoffman Estates IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed 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 normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals 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 solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Hoffman Estates IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Hoffman Estates IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps 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 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Hoffman Estates IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. First, 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 must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Hoffman Estates IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Hoffman Estates IL area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Hoffman Estates healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that initial job can 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 researching offer job placement assistance in the Hoffman Estates IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoffman Estates IL, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hoffman Estates Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hoffman Estates IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Hoffman Estates is a village in Illinois, United States. The village is located primarily in Cook County, with a small section in Kane County. It is a suburb of Chicago. As of the 2016 census, the village population was 51,738. The village was incorporated in 1959.
The village now serves as the headquarters for the Sears Holdings Corporation and the Midwest headquarters for AT&T and the American headquarters for Mori Seiki. The village owns the Sears Centre, home of the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League, the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League, and the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League.
In 1958, the Northwest Tollway opened, making the village more attractive to Chicago commuters. Beginning in 1961, the first land north of the tollway was annexed to the village of Hoffman Estates. Some 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) were annexed by 1962, including the areas that are now Winston Knolls, Westbury and the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve. The annexations more than doubled the incorporated land area.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Hoffman Estates IL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Community College. But irrespective of the type 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Hoffman Estates IL.
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