Medical Assistant Schools Libertyville IL

How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Libertyville Illinois

Libertyville IL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Libertyville IL, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the schools 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 Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Libertyville IL nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Libertyville IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education

Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Libertyville IL health care employers choose 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 route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Libertyville ILThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Libertyville IL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Libertyville IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Libertyville IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Libertyville IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either 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 aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Libertyville IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn 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 assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Libertyville IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Libertyville health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Libertyville IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Libertyville IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Libertyville Illinois?

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

Libertyville, Illinois

Libertyville is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States and an affluent suburb of Chicago. It is located 5 miles (8 km) west of Lake Michigan on the Des Plaines River. The 2014 census population was 20,512.[3] (There is also a township of the same name, which includes the village and some surrounding areas.) Located in northeastern Illinois, southwest of Waukegan and west of Lake Forest, its immediate neighbors are Mundelein to the west, Green Oaks, Mettawa, and Rondout to the east, Gurnee to the north, Grayslake to the northwest, and Vernon Hills to the south.

Libertyville is located at 42°17′03″N 87°57′38″W / 42.284222°N 87.960673°W / 42.284222; -87.960673Coordinates: 42°17′03″N 87°57′38″W / 42.284222°N 87.960673°W / 42.284222; -87.960673.[4]

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 9.15 square miles (23.7 km2), of which 8.81 square miles (22.8 km2) (or 96.28%) is land and 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2) (or 3.72%) is water.[5]

Select the Best Medical Assistant School Libertyville IL

Libertyville IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential 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 objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon 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, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Schools. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Libertyville IL.

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