How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Federal Way Washington
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Federal Way WA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students begin by researching 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Federal Way WA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can 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 health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Washington law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Federal Way WA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Federal Way WA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Federal Way WA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Federal Way WA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Federal Way WA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Federal Way WA area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Federal Way healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Federal Way WA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, 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 receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Federal Way WA, make certain 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 clinical training or internships that will 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 Federal Way Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Federal Way WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Federal Way, Washington
Federal Way is a city in King County, Washington, United States. It is a coastal city within the Seattle metropolitan area. Its southwestern boundary is NE Tacoma Puget Sound, to the south is the cities of Milton, then Fife, then Tacoma. It is bordered by Des Moines and Kent on the northeast, Auburn as well as the town of Lakeland North and Lakeland South in unincorporated King County on the east, Milton on the south, and Tacoma as well as Fife Heights and Dash Point in unincorporated Pierce County on the southwest. The population was 95,171 at the 2015 United States Census. Federal Way is currently the 9th largest city in Washington State and the 5th largest in King County, according to the Census Bureau's 2015 population estimate.
Originally a logging settlement, the area was first called "Federal Way" in 1929. The name derived from Federal Highway U.S. 99 (now State Route 99 or Pacific Highway South), which ran from Everett and Seattle to Tacoma. The name Federal Way was first used in 1929 when five existing schools consolidated operations into School District #210 and planned construction of Federal Way High School which opened in 1930 and gave its name to the school district. The local Chamber of Commerce adopted the name in the early 1950s.
Attempts to incorporate the city were voted down in 1971, 1981 and 1985. The voters eventually approved incorporation as a city on February 28, 1990; the official act of incorporation was held at the Sportsworld Lanes bowling complex.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Federal Way WA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before 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 sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Certified Medical Assistant Do. But regardless 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Federal Way WA.
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Traveling Medical Assistant Certification Requirements. Fulfill the below-given requirements to acquire the certification: For obtaining the certificate, aspirants first need to complete graduation from a medical assistant program accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP).
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Many community colleges and technical schools offer medical assistant training programs, which generally take one to two years to complete. Depending on the school, students may be able to earn a diploma in as little as nine months, or an associate’s degree in 18-24 months.
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