How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Yantic Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Yantic CT, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Yantic CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Yantic CT 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 offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical 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 usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Yantic CT area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may 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 furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Yantic CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Yantic CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Yantic CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready 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 to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two 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 kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Yantic CT area health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Yantic healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Yantic CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yantic CT, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Yantic Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Yantic CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Neighborhoods of Norwich, Connecticut
Bean Hill was originally a separate village, located about a mile from the center of Norwich in close proximity to the Norwichtown Green. It was founded by a group of Episcopalians around a small green (now a public park). In the early 19th century it was the site of the Norwich Methodist Episcopal Church, which met in a building that also housed a classical academy and a free school. The African American abolitionist David Ruggles grew up in Bean Hill and had an Underground Railroad stop in this area in one of the houses. Several of the old colonial houses and the Methodist church building (now a photographic and investment business) still stand. Modern Bean Hill grew in all directions with the coming of a highway on and off ramp depositing into the area just below the green. This area is now commercial with numerous gas stations, a Courtyard Marriott and a park and ride. Extending out from the Green are more commercial establishments, small shopping centers and, to the northeast, residential neighborhoods. The copper company Phelps Dodge is located in the farther reaches of Bean Hill next to old mills.
Because of its location at the Y-fork of the Thames, Shetucket and Yantic Rivers, Chelsea became the home of the city's former shipping harbor located on Hollyhock Island. Because of Norwich's industrial and commercial nature, this neighborhood is quite large, with its borders extending from Washington Street in the west to Burnham Square in the east.
At the core of Norwich's downtown are the harbor and a dense grouping of 18th-century buildings that are still mostly intact. The majority of big business, including the Wauregan Hotel, Reid and Hughes, Sears, Woolworth's and Chelsea Groton Bank, developed around Centennial Square before either closing altogether or moving out of the city or to East Great Plain with the economic tide. Numerous churches and historic homes, the former YMCA of Southeastern Connecticut and Post Office are also in and around Chelsea. The old train station and tracks are located here also, along with the city's grand Second Empire-style (1870) City Hall, New London County Superior Court, CLA Engineers and the Otis Library. The oldest remaining building in the city, Chelsea Landing Pub, is located here as well. The main public areas in this district are Centennial (aka Franklin) Square, City Hall Square and Howard T. Brown Memorial Park. The offices of the Norwich Bulletin are located in the former railroad station, most recently the site of the St. Vincent De Paul soup kitchen. The newspaper's previous longtime location, the Sunshine Building and the main newspaper building on Franklin Street in the north, just below the AT&T offices next to City Hall, is now vacant. The original Otis Library was in a small brick building across the square from City Hall. In 2007 it moved from its previous location on Main Street, into a new Mission-style building on Main Street that incorporates its previous and adjacent locations.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Yantic CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is 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 get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Bachelor Degree. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Yantic CT.
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