How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Kirkland Illinois
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kirkland IL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Kirkland IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Programs
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Kirkland IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided 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 classes. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for those 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 attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Kirkland IL area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Kirkland IL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Kirkland IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Kirkland IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, 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 evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Kirkland IL area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Kirkland health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Kirkland 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 an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kirkland IL, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Kirkland Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kirkland IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the 2010 census, Kirkland has a total area of 1.232 square miles (3.19 km2), of which 1.22 square miles (3.16 km2) (or 99.03%) is land and 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.97%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,166 people, 430 households, and 307 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,036.0 people per square mile (398.4/km²). There were 442 housing units at an average density of 392.7 per square mile (151.0/km²). 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the village, the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.5 males.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Kirkland IL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on 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 Good Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Kirkland IL.
More Medical Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 18