Medical Assistant Vocational Schools Lansing KS

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Lansing Kansas

Lansing KS medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lansing KS, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Lansing KS nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Lansing KS clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Kansas law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Lansing KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred 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 Lansing KSThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Lansing KS area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Lansing KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Lansing KS medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, 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 procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Lansing KS with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Lansing KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Lansing KS area medical care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Lansing healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Lansing KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator 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 provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lansing KS, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lansing Kansas?

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

Lansing, Kansas

Lansing is a city in Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States. It is situated along the west side of the Missouri River and Kansas-Missouri state border. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,265.[8] It is the second most populous city of Leavenworth County and is a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Lansing is named for James Lansing, a pioneer settler.[9] Formerly William Lansing Taylor, James changed his name upon his enlistment in 1862 as a hospital steward in the 7th Kansas Cavalry. Following the Civil War, he earned a position at the new state penitentiary in Kansas as a hospital steward. He later resigned and opened a general mercantile store, which held the post office and an apothecary business, in the area called “Town of Progress”. “Doc Lansing”, as he became known, and his friend John C. Schmidt became co-owners of 90 acres (360,000 m2) of land that was platted into town lots in 1878; they named the area “Town of Lansing”. Lansing did not become an incorporated city until 1959.[10]

The Kansas State Penitentiary, later renamed the Lansing Correctional Facility in 1990, was authorized by the Kansas Constitution in 1859; it is the state's largest and oldest facility for detention and rehabilitation of male adult felons.[10] With the opening of the coal mine at the prison the town became an important shipping point for this product.[11]

Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Lansing KS

Lansing KS medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Vocational Schools. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lansing KS.

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