How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Lisle Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lisle IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Lisle IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Training Courses
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Lisle IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine 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 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Lisle IL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Lisle IL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance 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 must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Lisle IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Lisle IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want 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 methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Lisle IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Lisle health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Lisle IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lisle IL, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lisle Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lisle IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lisle (/ˈlaɪəl/ LY-əl) is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,182 at the 2000 census, and in 2016 the population was recorded to be 22,930. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. It is also the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III.
In 1830, Bailey Hobson a Quaker, was the first settler in what would become DuPage County, Illinois, as well as Lisle Township. The town of Lisle was settled in 1832, by brothers James C. Hatch and Luther A. Hatch after the close of the Black Hawk War. The two brothers acquired land near what is now Ogden Avenue and began a small farming community named "DuPage" or "East DuPage" because, of its proximity to the east branch of the DuPage River.
In 1831, DuPage County was founded. To the west of the Lisle settlement, on the west branch of the DuPage river, brothers Joseph and John Naper founded the Naper Settlement, present-day Naperville, Illinois.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Lisle IL
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training. 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lisle IL.
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