How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Whittemore Michigan
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whittemore MI, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes 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 critical issues as well. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the colleges 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Whittemore MI clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Michigan 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Whittemore MI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Whittemore MI area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Whittemore MI medical employers simply 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) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Whittemore MI with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Whittemore MI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out 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 eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Whittemore MI area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Whittemore medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Whittemore MI area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just 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 school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whittemore MI, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whittemore Michigan?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Whittemore MI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
As of the census of 2010, there were 384 people, 183 households, and 96 families residing in the city. The population density was 387.9 inhabitants per square mile (149.8/km2). There were 226 housing units at an average density of 228.3 per square mile (88.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 1.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 183 households of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 47 years. 19% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 33.1% were from 45 to 64; and 19% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.3% male and 54.7% female.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Whittemore MI
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Certified Medical Assistant Do. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Whittemore MI.
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