How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Hoonah Alaska
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hoonah AK, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Hoonah AK clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Alaska law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Courses
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Hoonah AK health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Hoonah AK area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform 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 idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Hoonah AK medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Hoonah AK with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain 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. Second, 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Hoonah AK employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges 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 enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Hoonah AK area medical providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Hoonah medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Hoonah AK area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoonah AK, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hoonah Alaska?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hoonah AK area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hoonah (Xunaa in Tlingit) is a largely Tlingit community on Chichagof Island, located in Alaska's panhandle in the southeast region of the state. It is 30 miles (48 km) west of Juneau, across the Alaskan Inside Passage. Hoonah is the only first-class city on Chichagof Island, the 109th largest island in the world and the 5th largest island in the United States. At the 2010 census the population was 760, down from 860 at the 2000 census. In the summer the population can swell to over 1,300 depending on fishing, boating, hiking and hunting conditions. "Hoonah" became the official spelling in 1901, with establishment of the Hoonah branch of the United States Post Office.Xunaa means "protected from the North Wind" in the Tlingit language.
The clans comprising the Huna Tlingit originally settled what is now Glacier Bay National Park as well as Icy Strait, Cross Sound, and the outer coast north to Sea Otter Creek. Two catastrophic events forced the Tlingit from their homeland; rapid glacial advance in Glacier Bay and a landslide-induced tsunami in Lituya Bay along the outer coast. Tlingit oral tradition recounts these events as well as the clans' ultimate resettlement in Xunaa.
Sheldon Jackson established the first school house and teacher's residence in November 1881. The school was initially overseen by Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Styles of New York until their transfer to Sitka in 1882. The Reverend and Mrs. John McFarland assumed responsibility for the school in 1884, and by 1885 219 Tlingit students were enrolled: 69 boys, 76 girls and 74 adults. A territorial school and government school were built in 1923. In 1932 the government school was demolished and replaced by a Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Hoonah AK
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days 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 select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Best School For Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hoonah AK.
More Medical Locations in Alaska