Medical Assistant Job Description Whitesburg KY

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Whitesburg Kentucky

Whitesburg KY medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whitesburg KY, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students begin by checking out 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, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Whitesburg KY nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Whitesburg KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training Courses

In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Whitesburg KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Whitesburg KYThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Whitesburg KY area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Whitesburg KY medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Whitesburg KY medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Whitesburg KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Whitesburg KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, learn 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. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 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 kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Whitesburg KY area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Whitesburg health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Whitesburg KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Whitesburg KY, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whitesburg Kentucky?

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

Whitesburg, Kentucky

Whitesburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Letcher County, Kentucky, United States.[2] The population was 2,139 at the 2010 census. It was named for C. White, a state politician.[3]

Whitesburg is home to Appalshop, a multi-disciplinary arts and education center founded in 1969 which produces original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, multimedia, and books. WMMT (FM) 88.7 (Mountain Community Radio), was founded by Appalshop in 1985.

Whitesburg's major newspaper is The Mountain Eagle. Founded by Nehemiah Webb in 1907, the weekly paper has been owned by the Gish family of Letcher County since 1956. The Eagle has won numerous awards for its coverage of strip mining and its environmental effects, education, and political corruption.[4]

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Whitesburg KY

Whitesburg KY medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example 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 Job Description. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Whitesburg KY.

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