How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Moses Lake Washington
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Moses Lake WA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable 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 research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Moses Lake WA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Washington law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Moses Lake WA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma 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 commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Moses Lake WA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Moses Lake WA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Moses Lake WA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, 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 potential Moses Lake WA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating 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 one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest 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 require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Moses Lake WA area health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Moses Lake healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Moses Lake WA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Moses Lake WA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Moses Lake Washington?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Moses Lake WA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Moses Lake, Washington
Moses Lake is a city in Grant County, Washington, United States. The population was 20,366 as of the 2010 census. Moses Lake is the largest city in Grant County. The city anchors the Moses Lake Micropolitan area, which includes all of Grant County, and is part of the Moses Lake-Othello combined statistical area.
Moses Lake, on which the city lies, is made up of three main arms over 18 miles (29 km) long and up to one mile (1.6 km) wide. It is the largest natural body of fresh water in Grant County and has over 120 miles (190 km) of shoreline covering 6,500 acres (2,600 ha). Before it was dammed in the early 1900s and then incorporated into the Columbia Basin Project, Moses Lake was a smaller shallow lake. To the south of the town is the Potholes Reservoir and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge that has a number of seep lakes and vast amounts of migratory birds and other fauna natural to the area.
Before the construction of Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in 1941 and Larson Air Base in 1942 the area was largely barren. Native Americans knew the area as Houaph, which meant willow. Chief Moses was leader of the Sinkiuse tribe from 1859 to 1899, and was forced to negotiate with white settlers who began to settle in the area in the 1880s. Under pressure from the government, Chief Moses traded the Columbia Basin land for a reservation that stretched from Lake Chelan north to the Canada–US border. The government later traded again for what is now the Colville Indian Reservation.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School Moses Lake 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. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Moses Lake WA.
More Medical Locations in Washington