9 Month Medical Assistant Program Island Lake IL

How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Island Lake Illinois

Island Lake IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Island Lake IL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Island Lake IL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Island Lake IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities 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 many responsibilities 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 rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Island Lake IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Island Lake ILThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Island Lake IL area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified 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 job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Island Lake IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Island Lake IL medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Island Lake IL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Island Lake IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those 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 enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Island Lake IL area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Island Lake healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Island Lake IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high 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 large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Island Lake IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Island Lake Illinois?

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

Island Lake, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Island Lake has a total area of 3.597 square miles (9.32 km2), of which 3.39 square miles (8.78 km2) (or 94.25%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 5.75%) is water.[7]

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,153 people, 2,837 households, and 2,150 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,856.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,104.5/km²). There were 2,893 housing units at an average density of 1,013.5 per square mile (391.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.79% White, 0.49% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 8.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,837 households out of which 46.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.2% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.31.

Select the Best Medical Assistant Training Island Lake IL

Island Lake IL medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision 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 an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 9 Month Medical Assistant Program. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Island Lake IL.

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