What Is A Medical Assistant West Point KY

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near West Point Kentucky

West Point KY medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near West Point KY, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes 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 choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with West Point KY nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the West Point KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based 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 support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Courses

Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many West Point KY health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in West Point KYThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in West Point KY area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential West Point KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask West Point KY medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to West Point KY with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective West Point KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose 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 one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with West Point KY area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the West Point medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the West Point KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college 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 program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Point KY, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near West Point Kentucky?

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

West Point, Kentucky

West Point is a home rule-class city in Hardin County, Kentucky, United States, near the edge of Fort Knox military reservation on Dixie Highway. It is located in a former meander bend of the Ohio River. The population was 797 at the 2010 census,[2] down from 1,100 at the 2000 census.

West Point was founded by pioneer James Young, who built a cabin at the site in 1789 and, in 1797, built a brick house and inn that is still standing today. In 1803, Lewis and Clark passed nearby and recruited West Point citizen John Shields to join their Corps of Discovery.

West Point sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Salt rivers, a strategic position that led Union forces to construct a fort here during the Civil War to protect their supply routes. Fort Duffield is the state's largest and best-preserved earthen fortification from the period.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training West Point KY

West Point KY medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning 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 get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays 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 an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Is A Medical Assistant. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in West Point KY.

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