How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Schiller Park Illinois
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Schiller Park IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Schiller Park IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn 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
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Schiller Park IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have 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 to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Schiller Park IL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Schiller Park IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing 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. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Schiller Park IL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools 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 school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Schiller Park IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn 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 naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Schiller Park IL area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Schiller Park healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Schiller Park IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Schiller Park IL, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask 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 Schiller Park Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Schiller Park IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Schiller Park, Illinois
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,850 people, 4,244 households, and 3,045 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,283.5 people per square mile (1,451.7/km²). There were 4,335 housing units at an average density of 1,567.0 per square mile (604.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 80.98% White, 1.98% African American, 0.28% Native American, 5.14% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.11% from other races, and 3.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.92% of the population.
There were 4,244 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.3% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 4.61.
In the village, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.3 males.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant School Schiller Park IL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Colleges. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Schiller Park IL.
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