How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Wood Dale Illinois
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wood Dale IL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Wood Dale IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Illinois law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Wood Dale IL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 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 alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Wood Dale IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Wood Dale IL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Wood Dale IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good 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. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these agencies, 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 often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Wood Dale IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready 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 for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Wood Dale IL area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Wood Dale medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Wood Dale IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can 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 furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wood Dale IL, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Wood Dale Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wood Dale IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wood Dale, Illinois
According to the 2010 census, Wood Dale has a total area of 4.834 square miles (12.52 km2), of which 4.72 square miles (12.22 km2) (or 97.64%) is land and 0.114 square miles (0.30 km2) (or 2.36%) is water. Wood Dale shares borders with Elk Grove Village (on the north), Bensenville (east), Addison (south, southwest) and Itasca (west.)
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,535 people, 5,117 households, and 3,663 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,897.8 people per square mile (1,119.0/km²). There were 5,220 housing units at an average density of 1,117.6 per square mile (431.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.22 percent White, 0.58 percent African American, 0.15 percent Native American, 3.24 percent Asian, 0.07 percent Pacific Islander, 4.80 percent from other races, and 1.94 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.06 percent of the population.
There were 5,117 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.15.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Wood Dale IL
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info 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 personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Wood Dale IL.
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