How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Naperville Illinois
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Naperville IL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Naperville IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based 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 tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Naperville IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few 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 option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Naperville IL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals 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. A number of possible Naperville IL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at 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 potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Naperville IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Naperville IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Naperville IL area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Naperville healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Naperville IL area and find out 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 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 might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Naperville IL, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Naperville Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Naperville IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Naperville (/ˈneɪpərˌvɪl/) is a city in DuPage and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and a suburb of Chicago. Located 28 miles (45 km) west of Chicago, Naperville was founded in 1831 and developed as the fourth-largest city in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 141,853, which was estimated to have increased to 147,682 by 2017.
In a 2010 study assessing cities with populations exceeding 75,000, Naperville was ranked as the wealthiest city in the Midwest and the eleventh wealthiest in the nation. It was ranked among the nation's safest cities by USA Today and Business Insider. Naperville was voted the second-best place to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2006 and it was rated first on the list of best cities for early retirement in 2013 by Kiplinger. In 2015, it was named as one of the most educated large cities in America with populations over 50,000.
In July 1831, Joseph Naper arrived at the west bank of the DuPage River with his family and friends to found what would be known as Naper's Settlement. Among those original settlers were Naper's wife Almeda Landon, his brother John with wife Betsy Goff, his sister Amy with husband John Murray, and his mother Sarah. Their arrival followed a nearly two-month voyage across three Great Lakes in the Naper brothers' schooner, the Telegraph. Also on the journey were several families who remained in the settlement that would become Chicago, including that of Dexter Graves who is memorialized in Graceland Cemetery by the well-known Lorado Taft statue "Eternal Silence" (also known as "the Dexter Graves Monument").
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Naperville IL
It’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 goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Information. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Naperville IL.
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