Medical Assistant Duties Rantoul IL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Rantoul Illinois

Rantoul IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rantoul IL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 critical issues also. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Rantoul IL nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Rantoul IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties 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 fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized 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 Training Courses

In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Rantoul IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Rantoul ILThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Rantoul IL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Rantoul IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Rantoul IL medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Rantoul IL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, 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 must 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Rantoul IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Rantoul IL area healthcare providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Rantoul health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Rantoul IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rantoul IL, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Rantoul Illinois?

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

Rantoul, Illinois

Rantoul is a village in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The population was 12,941 at the 2010 census. The current mayor is Chuck Smith, who was elected in 2013. The community was named after Robert Rantoul, Jr., a U.S. representative from Massachusetts, and a director of the Illinois Central Railroad.[4][5]

In 1917, Rantoul was chosen by the United States Army to be the site of Chanute Field,[6] due to its proximity to the Illinois Central railroad and the War Department’s ground school at the University of Illinois. In the 1930s, Chanute Field grew, dominating the local economy as thousands of airmen were stationed there to train recruits. Renamed Chanute Air Force Base after World War II, it was closed in 1993, but was partly reoccupied by the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum , which was permanently closed on December 30, 2015, and the Rantoul National Aviation Center. Rantoul's economy has taken a sharp decline due to the base's closing, from which it has never recovered. The book Eye of the Storm: Chanute Closes by Katy B. Podagrosi tells the story of this period.

According to the 2010 census, Rantoul has a total area of 8.259 square miles (21.39 km2), of which 8.15 square miles (21.11 km2) (or 98.68%) is land and 0.109 square miles (0.28 km2) (or 1.32%) is water.[8]

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Rantoul IL

Rantoul IL medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Duties. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Rantoul IL.

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