How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Kenmore Washington
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kenmore WA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Kenmore WA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Washington law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Education
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Kenmore 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 basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice 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 solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Kenmore WA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Kenmore WA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Kenmore WA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, 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 College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Kenmore WA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Kenmore WA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Kenmore health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Kenmore WA 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 an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kenmore WA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kenmore Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kenmore WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kenmore (sometimes referred to as Kenmore by the Lake) is a city in King County, Washington, United States, along the northernmost shores of Lake Washington. A mix of bedroom community, one-time country retreat, and freshwater industrial port, prominent features include the nation's largest seaplane-only, commercial air facility at Kenmore Air Harbor,Bastyr University, several waterside parks and marinas, and easy access to the Burke-Gilman Trail and the King County bike-trail system. Sites of local historical interest include the former St. Edward Seminary, now Saint Edward State Park; and Log Boom Park. Kenmore's official city flower is the dahlia, the official city bird is the great blue heron, and the official city evergreen is the rhododendron. The population was 20,460 at the 2010 census.
Founded in 1901, Kenmore's name comes third-hand from the Scottish village of Kenmore, via town founder home town of Kenmore, Ontario. McMasters and his wife Annie arrived in Puget Sound circa 1889 from Canada, intending to establish themselves in the shingle-making trade. They opened a shingle mill on the northern shore of Lake Washington on land leased from Watson C. Squire. By 1903, Kenmore had established a school system and post office, but it did not formally incorporate as a city until August 31, 1998.
Despite cargo railway service passing through the area as early as 1887 via the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, most access to the city in its early days was by boat, with regular ferry service to Seattle, Bothell, and Woodinville starting in 1906. The city later gained a passenger railroad stop. The first improved road connection to Seattle and Bothell—the Red Brick Road—opened between 1913 and 1914, with bus service following the laying of the bricks. As a result, Kenmore became a country retreat for weekend gardeners with local landowners selling off clear-cut "garden plots" to Seattlites with automobiles and green thumbs. It attracted at least two short-lived nudist camps during the 1920s.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Kenmore WA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Online Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Kenmore WA.
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