How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Verona New Jersey
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Verona NJ, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 important issues also. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Verona NJ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under New Jersey law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Courses
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Verona NJ health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Verona NJ area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Verona NJ medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 take the CMA examination, 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, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching 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 Verona NJ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Verona NJ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program concentrating on 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 methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Verona NJ area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Verona healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Verona NJ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Verona NJ, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask 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 Verona New Jersey?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Verona NJ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Verona, New Jersey
Verona is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 13,332 reflecting a decline of 201 (-1.5%) from the 13,533 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 64 (-0.5%) from the 13,597 counted in the 1990 Census.
Verona and several neighboring towns were all originally one town known as the Horseneck Tract. In 1702, a group of settlers left Newark and purchased a large tract of land northwest of their home city for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. This piece of land extended west and north to the Passaic River, south to the town center of what would become Livingston, and east to the First Watchung Mountain, and was called Horseneck by the natives because it resembled the neck and head of a horse. What was then known as Horseneck contained most of the present day northern Essex County towns: Verona, along with Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, and Roseland are all located entirely in Horseneck, and parts of what are today Livingston, Montclair, and West Orange also were contained in the Horseneck Tract.
After the Revolutionary War, the area of Horseneck was incorporated as "Caldwell Township" in honor of local war hero James Caldwell, a pastor who used pages from his church's bibles as wadding to ignite the ammo in soldiers' cannons and helped to drive the British out of Horseneck.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant School Verona NJ
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select 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 Degree Requirements. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Verona NJ.
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