How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Enumclaw Washington
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Enumclaw WA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate 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 critical issues as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Enumclaw WA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based 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 providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Washington law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Enumclaw WA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Enumclaw WA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Enumclaw WA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Enumclaw WA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the school 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 plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Enumclaw WA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Enumclaw WA area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Enumclaw health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Enumclaw WA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience 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 school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Enumclaw WA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Enumclaw Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Enumclaw WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The name Enumclaw is derived from a Salish Native American term that translates as "place of evil spirits", apparently referring to Enumclaw Mountain, located about 6 miles (9.7 km) to the north, and referring either to some evil incident that occurred there or to the occasional powerful windstorms from the east that affect the region. Native American mythology tells the story of two Pacific Northwest Native American brothers – Enumclaw and Kapoonis – whose father turned them into thunder and lightning respectively. The City of Enumclaw says the name means "thundering noise".
One of the first white settlers in south King County was Allen L. Porter. In 1853, he claimed a 320-acre (1.3 km2) parcel on the White River, about three miles (5 km) west of the site of Enumclaw. He maintained a troubled relationship with the local Smalkamish tribe (some of the ancestors of the Muckleshoot tribe) for some time, and in 1855 his cabin was burned to the ground. Porter, who had been warned in advance by a friend in the tribe, hid in the woods until they had left. After warning the settlers at Fort Steilacoom, he left the area, moving to Roy. He would never return to Enumclaw.
Enumclaw itself was homesteaded in 1879 by Frank and Mary Stevenson. In 1885, the Northern Pacific Railroad routed their transcontinental mainline through the site, accepting their offer of cleared, level land on which to build a siding. Confident that the area would grow, the Stevensons filed a plat with King County that same year. They built a hotel and gave away lots for a saloon and a general store.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College Enumclaw WA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Evening Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the kind 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 provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Enumclaw WA.
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