How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Keyport Washington
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Keyport WA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Keyport WA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Washington law, some choose 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Keyport WA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, 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 offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for individuals 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 to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Keyport WA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Keyport WA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Keyport WA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Keyport WA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must 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 naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast 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 ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Keyport WA area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Keyport medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Keyport 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 health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Keyport WA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Keyport Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Keyport WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Keyport is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. The community is located at the eastern terminus of State Route 308 on the Kitsap Peninsula, 3.42 miles (5.50 km) east of Naval Base Kitsap. Keyport's ZIP Code, 98345, had a ZCTA population of 554 at the 2010 census, in addition to a small contingent of Navy personnel.
Keyport was named for Keyport, New Jersey in 1896. Its nickname is "Torpedo Town USA". Situated on a small peninsula jutting into Liberty Bay near Poulsbo, it is the home of a small United States Navy depot tasked with ranging and repairing torpedoes for the US Navy and allies.
Keyport's only church, Keyport Bible Church, was established in the early 1900s and incorporated in 1926. The church's building was dedicated May 2, 1937 and has since added a number of additional classrooms and a multipurpose building.
Select the Best Medical Assistant College Keyport WA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges 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, make certain 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 Registered Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Keyport WA.
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