How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Auburn Washington
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Auburn WA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, 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 kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Auburn WA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving 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 potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Washington 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Auburn WA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical 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 component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Auburn WA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Auburn WA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Auburn WA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Auburn WA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Auburn WA area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Auburn health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Auburn WA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn WA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Auburn Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Auburn WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Auburn is a city in King County, with a small portion in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 70,180 at the 2010 United States Census. Auburn is a suburb in the Seattle metropolitan area, currently ranked the fifteenth largest city in the state of Washington.
Auburn is bordered by the cities of Federal Way, Pacific, and Algona to the west, Sumner to the south, Kent to the north, and unincorporated King County to the east. The Muckleshoot Indian Reservation is in or near the southern city limits.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.89 square miles (77.41 km2), of which, 29.62 square miles (76.72 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2) is water.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant College Auburn WA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as 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 Medical Assistant Course Online. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Auburn WA.
More Medical Locations in Washington
Business Results 1 - 10 of 572