How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Streamwood Illinois
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Streamwood IL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location 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 alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Streamwood IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical 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. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Courses
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Streamwood IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have time to attend 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 attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Streamwood IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Streamwood IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Streamwood IL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Streamwood IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, 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 programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Streamwood IL area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Streamwood health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Streamwood IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may 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 offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Streamwood IL, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Streamwood Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Streamwood IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
A major retail sector has developed in recent years at the intersection of Illinois Route 59 and Illinois Route 19 called Sutton Park. In addition to the Sutton Park Shopping Center, stores and businesses in the area include Super Target, Marshall's, Discovery Clothing, Famous Footwear, Yankee Candle, Wendy's, Chili's, Panera Bread, Chase Bank, America's Best, CVS Pharmacy, T Mobile, Bank of America, Steak 'n Shake, Pearle Vision, Starbucks Coffee, Hair Cuttery, UPS Store, Subway Sandwiches, GameStop, Jimmy John's, Taco Bell, Arby's, 5/3 Bank, and Great Clips.
According to the 2010 census, Streamwood has a total area of 7.854 square miles (20.34 km2), of which 7.82 square miles (20.25 km2) (or 99.57%) is land and 0.034 square miles (0.09 km2) (or 0.43%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 39,858 people, 13,034 households, and 9,945 families residing in the village. The population density was 5,096.9 people per square mile (1,963.4/km²). There were 13,629 housing units, at an average density of 1,742.8 per square mile (671.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 66.0% White, 4.5% African American, 0.9% Native American, 15.0% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 10.6% some other race, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.2% of the population.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Streamwood IL
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in 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 practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 Curriculum. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Streamwood IL.
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