How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Holbrook Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Holbrook AZ, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Holbrook AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Arizona law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Holbrook AZ health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Holbrook AZ area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Holbrook AZ medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps 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 examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, 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 comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Holbrook AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Holbrook AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? 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, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Holbrook AZ area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Holbrook medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Holbrook AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face 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 Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Holbrook Arizona?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Holbrook AZ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs, after a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon afterwards a store and saloon were established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
Select the Best Medical Assistant School Holbrook AZ
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Does A Medical Assistant Do. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Holbrook AZ.
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