Medical Assistant Technical School Eatonville WA

How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Eatonville Washington

Eatonville WA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Eatonville WA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Eatonville WA nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Eatonville WA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying 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

While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Washington law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs

In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Eatonville WA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Eatonville WAThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Eatonville WA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform 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 individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Eatonville WA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Eatonville WA medical assistant programsPrior to evaluating 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. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Eatonville WA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Eatonville WA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Eatonville WA area medical care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Eatonville health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Eatonville WA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Eatonville WA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Eatonville Washington?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Eatonville WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Eatonville, Washington

In 1889, Indian Henry was one of the Nisqually who guided the town's Euro-American founder, Thomas C. Van Eaton, from Mashell Prairie to the present site of Eatonville. Legend has it that upon arrival Henry declared, "This is a good place. Not much snow."

Area white settlers and the accompanying Nisqually were in need of goods, which "T.C." provided at his trading post. Supplies were carried by his stage from Spanaway over a rough trail through dense forest. In 1891, the settlers built the town's first school, which is still in use.

For years Eatonville was a waypoint for visitors to Mount Rainier. In 1902, the Tacoma Eastern Railroad arrived, providing freight and passenger service and a vital link to Tacoma. Soon after the railroad's arrival, several small mills sprang up in the vicinity. In the 1970s, the Wildlife park of Northwest Trek was opened and it remains to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, other than Mount Rainier itself.

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Eatonville WA

Eatonville WA medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Technical School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Eatonville WA.

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