Medical Assistant Education Russell KS

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Russell Kansas

Russell KS medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Russell KS, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Russell KS nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Russell KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities 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 facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available 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 many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Russell KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving 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 similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Russell KSThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Russell KS area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Russell KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Russell KS medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Russell KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Russell KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Russell KS area healthcare providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Russell healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Russell KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Russell KS, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy 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 Russell Kansas?

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

Russell, Kansas

In 1865, the Butterfield Overland Despatch established a short-lived station named Fossil Creek Station along its route from Atchison, Kansas to Denver near the site of modern Russell. In 1867, the Kansas Pacific Railway reached the area and built its own station, also named Fossil Creek, later just Fossil, north of the Butterfield station. That same year, the Kansas Legislature established the surrounding area as Russell County. In 1871, colonists from Ripon, Wisconsin established a permanent settlement at Fossil Station, renaming it Russell after the county.[7] Russell was incorporated and named the provisional county seat in 1872, and, after a two-year dispute with neighboring Bunker Hill, it became the permanent county seat in 1874.[8][9] In 1876, Volga Germans, mostly from the area around Saratov and Samara in Russia, began settling in and around Russell.[10]

The first discovery oil well in Russell County was drilled west of Russell in 1923. An oil boom ensued and lasted through the 1930s, attracting settlers from Oklahoma and Texas. Petroleum production became a staple of the local economy.[11]

Russell came to national attention in the mid-1990s as the hometown of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Arlen Specter when both men campaigned for the U.S. presidency.[12] Dole was born and raised in Russell, and it remained his official place of residence throughout his political career.[13]

Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Russell KS

Russell KS medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon 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, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Russell KS.

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