Certify Medical Assistant Atwood KS

How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Atwood Kansas

Atwood KS medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Atwood KS, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Atwood KS nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Atwood KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. 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 tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. 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 fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Kansas 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Atwood KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Atwood KSThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Atwood KS area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Atwood KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Atwood KS medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Atwood KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 accepted agencies 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Atwood KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate 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 choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Atwood KS area health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Atwood healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Atwood KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere 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 working full-time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Atwood KS, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Atwood Kansas?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Atwood KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Atwood, Kansas

In 1875, T.A. Andrews and J.M. Matheny traveled to Rawlins County and started a town site about two miles east of the current city. The city of Attwood (with two t's) was named after Attwood Matheny, the 14-year-old son who accompanied his father on the journey. In 1882, the U.S. Post Office requested permission to drop one "t" thus becoming Atwood. In 1881, Atwood became the county seat of Rawlins County.[8][9]

Atwood is located at 39°48′32″N 101°2′29″W / 39.80889°N 101.04139°W / 39.80889; -101.04139 (39.808971, −101.041370).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.10 square miles (2.85 km2), of which 1.04 square miles (2.69 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,194 people, 568 households, and 299 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,148.1 inhabitants per square mile (443.3/km2). There were 666 housing units at an average density of 640.4 per square mile (247.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.

Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course Atwood KS

Atwood KS medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certify Medical Assistant. 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, 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 begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Atwood KS.

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