Medical Assistant Skills Pittsburg KS

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Pittsburg Kansas

Pittsburg KS medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pittsburg KS, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Pittsburg KS nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Pittsburg KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can 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 options offered 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

In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Pittsburg 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 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few 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 available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade 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 training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Pittsburg KSThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Pittsburg KS area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Pittsburg KS medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Pittsburg KS medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Pittsburg KS with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, 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 must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). 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 aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Pittsburg KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready 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 for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Pittsburg KS area health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Pittsburg medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Pittsburg KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pittsburg KS, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may 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 responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Pittsburg Kansas?

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

Pittsburg, Kansas

Pittsburg is a city in Crawford County, Kansas, United States,[1] located in Southeast Kansas near the Missouri state border. It is the most populous city in Crawford County and southeast Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,233.[7]

On October 23, 1864, a wagon train of refugees had come from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was escorted by troops from the 6th Kansas Cavalry under the command of Col. William Campbell. These were local men from Cherokee, Crawford, and Bourbon counties. Their enlistment was over, and they were on their way to Fort Leavenworth to be dismissed from service. They ran into the 1st Indian Brigade led by Maj. Andrew Jackson Piercy near the current Pittsburg Waste Water Treatment Plant. They continued to the north when a small group of wagons broke away in an unsuccessful rush to safety. The Confederate troops caught up with them and burned the wagons. The death toll was three Union soldiers and 13 civilian men who had been with the wagon train. It was likely that one of the Confederates had also been killed. A granite marker memorial for the "Cow Creek Skirmish" was placed near the Crawford County Historical Museum on October 30, 2011.[8]

Pittsburg sprang up in the fall of 1876 on a railroad line being built through the neighborhood.[9] It was named after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[10] and maps of the time give the town's name as "New Pittsburgh". George Hobson and Franklin Playter are credited with being the city's founders, establishing a government after its beginnings as a coal mining camp in the 1870s. The city was incorporated in 1879.[11] The “New” was dropped upon incorporation of the City as a third class city on June 21, 1880, with M. M. Snow as its first Mayor. In 1892 it was advanced to a city of the second class, in 1905 Pittsburg attained the rank of first class.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Pittsburg KS

Pittsburg KS medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Skills. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Pittsburg KS.

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