How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Washington New Jersey
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Washington NJ, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many potential students start 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 location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short 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 Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Washington NJ clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities 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 tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under New Jersey law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Washington NJ health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Washington NJ area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Washington NJ medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order 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. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Washington NJ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you select 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 must complete 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Washington NJ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Washington NJ area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Washington healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Washington NJ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Washington NJ, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Washington New Jersey?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Washington NJ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Washington, New Jersey
Washington is a borough in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,461, reflecting a decline of 251 (-3.7%) from the 6,712 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 238 (+3.7%) from the 6,474 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is located in the eastern most region of the Lehigh Valley.
Washington was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 20, 1868, from portions of Washington Township. The borough was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president. The Borough of Washington is surrounded by Washington Township, which is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name "Washington Township".
Washington Borough separated from Washington Township as of February 20, 1868. The community grew during the 19th century as a result of the transportation routes that ran through or near the borough. The Morris Canal ran along the north end of town and two rail lines of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad crossed within the borough. Intersecting in the center of the borough are two major roadways, which today are Route 31 and Route 57. The borough was ultimately named for the "Washington House", a tavern built by Revolutionary War Col. William McCullough in 1811 that was later destroyed by fire in 1869.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Washington NJ
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering 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 an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Trade Schools Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Washington NJ.
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