How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Somonauk Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Somonauk IL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Somonauk IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Training
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Somonauk IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might 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 working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Somonauk IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may 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, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Somonauk IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded 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 be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Somonauk IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Somonauk IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Somonauk IL area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Somonauk health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Somonauk IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout 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 practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Somonauk IL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Somonauk Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Somonauk IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The DeKalb County portion of Somonauk is part of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the small portion that lies in LaSalle County is part of the Ottawa–Peru, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Somonauk is located at 41°37′58″N 88°41′11″W / 41.63278°N 88.68639°W / 41.63278; -88.68639 (41.6327194, -88.6865175). The village is situated along the boundary between DeKalb and LaSalle counties. In the 2000 census, 1,190 of Somonauk's 1,295 residents (91.9%) lived in DeKalb County and 105 (8.1%) lived in LaSalle County.
According to the 2010 census, Somonauk has a total area of 2.415 square miles (6.25 km2), of which 2.41 square miles (6.24 km2) (or 99.79%) is land and 0.005 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.21%) is water.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Somonauk IL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Near Me. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Somonauk IL.
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