Clinical Medical Assistant Training Palos Hills IL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Palos Hills Illinois

Palos Hills IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Palos Hills IL, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Palos Hills IL nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Palos Hills IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

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

While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs

Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Palos Hills IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Palos Hills ILThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the 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 working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Palos Hills IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Palos Hills IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Palos Hills IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Palos Hills IL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Palos Hills 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 schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting 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, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Palos Hills IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Palos Hills health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Palos Hills 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 a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can 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 prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

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 select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Palos Hills IL, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Palos Hills Illinois?

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

Palos Hills, Illinois

Palos Hills is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a southwest suburb of Chicago. The city was established in 1958 and had reached a population of 17,484 in the 2010 census.[3] It is the home of Moraine Valley Community College as well as Amos Alonzo Stagg High School.

According to the 2010 census, Palos Hills has a total area of 4.292 square miles (11.12 km2), of which 4.25 square miles (11.01 km2) (or 99.02%) is land and 0.042 square miles (0.11 km2) (or 0.98%) is water.[4]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 17,665 people, 7,320 households, and 4,772 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,239.7 people per square mile (1,635.6/km²). There were 7,492 housing units at an average density of 1,798.1 per square mile (693.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.18% White, 5.48% African American, 0.11% Native American, 2.67% Asian, 1.11% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 2.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Palos Hills IL

Palos Hills IL medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Training. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Palos Hills IL.

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