How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Kenilworth Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kenilworth IL, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should 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 credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Kenilworth IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may 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 medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Illinois law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Kenilworth IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 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 usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals 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 solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Kenilworth IL area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education 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 earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Kenilworth 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 arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Kenilworth IL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Kenilworth IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Kenilworth IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Kenilworth medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Kenilworth IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Kenilworth IL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kenilworth Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kenilworth IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kenilworth is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, 15 miles (24 km) north of downtown Chicago. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 2,513. It is the newest of the nine suburban North Shore communities bordering Lake Michigan, and is one of those developed as a planned community. Kenilworth has a reputation as being the wealthiest and the most exclusive community in the Midwest. In January 2011, Forbes.com ranked Kenilworth as the second most affluent neighborhood in the United States, naming it "the most exclusive neighborhood in the Midwest, with estimated median household income of $247,000. Even after the housing slump the average house in Kenilworth sells for about $1 million."
Kenilworth is located at 42°5′17″N 87°42′57″W / 42.08806°N 87.71583°W / 42.08806; -87.71583 (42.088128, -87.716009). According to the 2010 census, Kenilworth has a total area of 0.61 square miles (1.58 km2), all land. The highest point in the village is in the northwest corner, along Ridge Road. This point is about 643 feet (196 m) above sea level, or 68 feet (21 m) above the surface of Lake Michigan.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,513 people, 800 households and 699 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,188.3 people per square mile (1,570.6/km²). There were 855 housing units at an average density of 1,425.0 per square mile (534.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.4% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.3% Asian, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant School Kenilworth IL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. 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 addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant School Time. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Kenilworth IL.
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