Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Calera AL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Calera Alabama

Calera AL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Calera AL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many future students start by researching 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 want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Calera AL nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Calera AL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. 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 nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Alabama law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Calera AL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Calera ALThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Calera AL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Calera AL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Calera AL medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Calera AL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the school 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. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Calera AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Calera AL area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Calera medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Calera AL 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college 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 school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Calera AL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Calera Alabama?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Calera AL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Calera, Alabama

As of the 2010 census Calera had a population of 11,620, more than tripling its total in 2000,[5] making it the fastest-growing city in Alabama. It is within the Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Calera is located in southern Shelby County at 33°06′27″N 86°45′00″W / 33.107572°N 86.749964°W / 33.107572; -86.749964.[6] The city limits extend southward into Chilton County along U.S. Route 31, the main highway through the city. Interstate 65 passes through the eastern side of the city, with access from exits 228, 231, and 234.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.4 square miles (63.1 km2), of which 24.1 square miles (62.4 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.17%, is water.[5]

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Calera AL

Calera AL medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Calera AL.

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