How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Lombard Illinois
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lombard IL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant 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 colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Lombard IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out 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 available 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
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Lombard IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. 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 applied to a 4 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 too. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Lombard IL area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Lombard IL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lombard IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Lombard IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’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 school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Lombard IL area medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Lombard healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Lombard IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lombard IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lombard Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lombard IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lombard is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States, and a suburb of Chicago. The population was 42,322 at the 2000 census. The United States Census Bureau estimated the population in 2004 to be 42,975. The village's challenge to the Census Bureau regarding its official 2010 population was accepted, revising the official population of the village from 43,165 to 43,395.
Originally part of Potawatomi Native American landscape, the Lombard area was first settled by Americans of European descent in the 1830s. Lombard shares its early history with Glen Ellyn. Brothers Ralph and Morgan Babcock settled in a grove of trees along the DuPage River. In what was known as Babcock's Grove, Lombard developed to the east and Glen Ellyn to the west. In 1837, Babcock's Grove was connected to Chicago by a stagecoach line which stopped at Stacy's Tavern at Geneva and St. Charles Roads. Fertile land, the DuPage River, and plentiful timber drew farmers to the area.
Sheldon and Harriet Peck moved from Onondaga, New York, to this area in 1837 to farm 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land. In addition, Peck was an artist and primitive portrait painter who traveled to clients across northeastern Illinois. The Peck house also served as the area's first school and has been restored by the Lombard Historical Society. In 2011, the Peck House was inducted into the National Park Service's Network to Freedom—a list of verified Underground Railroad locations.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Lombard IL
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Online Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lombard IL.
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