Medical Assistant Online School Colby KS

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Colby Kansas

Colby KS medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Colby KS, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Colby KS nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Colby KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kansas law, some opt 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 Education

Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Colby KS health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, 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 acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical 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 frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Colby KSThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the 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 to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Colby KS area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Colby KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Colby KS medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Colby KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Colby KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Colby KS area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Colby health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Colby KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Colby KS, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Colby Kansas?

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

Colby, Kansas

In 1882, a post office was established near the center of Thomas County. Area homesteaders lived under harsh conditions in sod houses, creating demand for a town to provide lumber and other provisions to incoming settlers. J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884, and land was acquired for the town site three miles north of the post office in March 1885. The following month, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad reached the city in 1887, and the Rock Island Railroad followed the next year.[8]

In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. This was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, it was one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St. Thomas Historic Residences. [9]

Colby is located at 39°23′32″N 101°02′51″W / 39.392093°N 101.047532°W / 39.392093; -101.047532 (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m).[5][11] It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.[12] A small tributary of the creek flows northeast through the town.[13] Located at the interchange of Interstate 70 and K-25 in northwestern Kansas, Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City.[12][14]

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Colby KS

Colby KS medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Online School. But irrespective of the type 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Colby KS.

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