Medical Assistant Info Leavenworth KS

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Leavenworth Kansas

Leavenworth KS medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Leavenworth KS, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Leavenworth KS nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Leavenworth KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending 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 assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

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

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Kansas law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training Courses

In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Leavenworth KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Leavenworth KSThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good option for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Leavenworth KS area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Leavenworth KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded 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 be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Leavenworth KS medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like 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 opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Leavenworth KS with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Leavenworth KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Leavenworth KS area medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Leavenworth health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Leavenworth KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Leavenworth KS, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Leavenworth Kansas?

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

Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth, in the northeast part of the state. Built in 1827, it is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, DC, and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas.[1] Fort Leavenworth has been historically known as the "Intellectual Center of the Army."[2]

Fort Leavenworth was also the base of African-American soldiers of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on 21 September 1866 at Fort Leavenworth. They became known as Buffalo Soldiers, nicknamed by the Native American tribes whom they fought. The term eventually was applied to all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866.

During the country's westward expansion, Fort Leavenworth was a forward destination for thousands of soldiers, surveyors, immigrants, American Indians, preachers and settlers who passed through. On August 1, 1846, a Mormon Battalion, led by Col. James Allen, arrived at Fort Leavenworth. Colonel Allen became ill and died at the fort; his headstone marks his grave at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Select the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Leavenworth KS

Leavenworth KS medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 Medical Assistant Info. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Leavenworth KS.

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