How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Monroe Washington
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Monroe WA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes 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 might decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all 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 Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Monroe WA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Washington law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Monroe 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 two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Monroe WA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Monroe WA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take 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 available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Monroe WA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Monroe WA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? 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 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Monroe WA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Monroe medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Monroe WA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can 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 provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Monroe WA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Monroe Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Monroe WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Monroe is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. It is 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Seattle. The population was 17,304 at the 2010 census. The population was 18,090 at 2015 Estimate from Office of Financial Management.
Prior to that time the main settlement in the area had been located about one mile (1.5 km) west of where the downtown eventually grew up and was known as Park Place. However, the city's merchants relocated when the railroad survey was completed to have better access to the new transportation corridor. The new development was originally known as Tye City, but became Monroe when Park Place's main store, the one containing the U.S. Post Office, relocated and took up the name "Monroe at Park Place" in honor of James Monroe, the nation's fifth president. Because the U.S. Postal Department would not allow any new post offices to use double names, the post office, and eventually the town, became known simply as "Monroe."
By 1893 the city had become an important stop on the rail line and was best known for the GN Greenhouses, which grew flowers for the passengers to purchase. That same year, Snohomish County built the County Poor Farm where today's Evergreen State Fairgrounds are located; the city's first hospital was built where Valley General Hospital stands today. 1894 saw the construction of the first high bridge over the Skykomish River and 1896 the construction of the first church. In 1899 the grammar school was relocated from its old site in Park Place to a new site in Monroe and the town's newspaper, The Monroe Monitor, began publication on January 14 of the same year. On September 16, 1901 a fire destroyed the only complete block of business in the city. The city was shaken by that, but quickly built back up. Nowadays, the town of Monroe has a population of 17,286 residents, with thriving small businesses. On the old area of Park Place is Park Place Middle School, there for its dedication.
Select the Best Medical Assistant School Monroe WA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering 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 select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Requirements. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Monroe WA.
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