Medical Assistant Accreditation Huntley IL

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Huntley Illinois

Huntley IL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Huntley IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Huntley IL nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Huntley IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. 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 responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may 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 offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education

Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Huntley IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Huntley ILThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for students who might 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 certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Huntley IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Huntley IL medical employers just will not hire 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 sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Huntley IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Huntley IL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Huntley IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Huntley IL area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Huntley health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Huntley IL area and ask 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 wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Huntley IL, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Huntley Illinois?

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

Huntley, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Huntley has a total area of 14.102 square miles (36.52 km2), of which 14.07 square miles (36.44 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.032 square miles (0.08 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.[8]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 5,730 people, 2,324 households, and 1,756 families residing in the village. The population density was 489.1 inhabitants per square mile (188.8/km2). There were 2,501 housing units at an average density of 213.5 per square mile (82.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 94.94% White, 0.44% African American, 0.17% Native American, 2.13% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 4.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,324 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.3% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.4% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.85.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Huntley IL

Huntley IL medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Accreditation. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Huntley IL.

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