How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Sugar Grove Illinois
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sugar Grove IL, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Sugar Grove IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many 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 instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Sugar Grove IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Sugar Grove IL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Sugar Grove IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Sugar Grove IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Sugar Grove IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Sugar Grove IL area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Sugar Grove health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Sugar Grove IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sugar Grove IL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sugar Grove Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sugar Grove IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Interstate 88 (Illinois)
Interstate 88 (I-88) is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Illinois that runs from an interchange with I-80 near Silvis and Moline to an interchange with I-290 and I-294 in Hillside, near Chicago. I-88 is 140.60 miles (226.27 km) long. This route is not contiguous with I-88 in New York. Since 2010, all of I-88 has been part of the Chicago–Kansas City Expressway. The highway also runs through the cities of Aurora, Naperville, DeKalb, and Dixon. East of Rock Falls, the route is a part of the Illinois Tollway system.
The reason for I-88's original designation and continued existence as an Interstate has to do with a technicality in the old National Maximum Speed Law (NMSL). Originally passed in 1973, the NMSL was amended in 1987 to permit 65-mile-per-hour (105 km/h) speed limits on rural stretches of Interstate Highways only. Even though IL 5 was fully up to Interstate Highway standards, it still had to carry a 55-mile-per-hour (89 km/h) limit because of this wording in NMSL. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) petitioned the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to re-designate IL 5 as an Interstate, and in 1987, AASHTO approved the request and assigned the I-88 numbering to the highway. The NMSL would be completely repealed only eight years later in 1995, but the I-88 shields remain to this day, even though Chicago–Kansas City Expressway (IL 110) markers are being posted throughout the entire length of I-88, since it is now part of the Chicago to Kansas City Expressway project, bannered with special "CKC" logos.
Opened November 21, 1958, it was initially designated as U.S. Route 30 Toll (US 30 Toll), and later IL 190. The original routing extended from the I-294 interchange near Hillside to IL 47 near Sugar Grove. IL 56 was overlapped on the East-West Tollway between North Aurora and Sugar Grove in 1965.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Sugar Grove IL
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Registration. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Sugar Grove IL.
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