How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Scottsdale AZ, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Scottsdale AZ clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Arizona law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Programs
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Scottsdale AZ health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Scottsdale AZ area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Scottsdale AZ medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded 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 have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Scottsdale AZ with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Scottsdale AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Scottsdale AZ area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Scottsdale health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Scottsdale AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad 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 throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Scottsdale Arizona?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Scottsdale AZ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Scottsdale (O'odham: Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui: Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."
Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe. The southern boundary is also occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which also borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.
The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, from approximately 300 BC to 1450 AD. This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation which was unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America. At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most likely theory having to do with a prolonged drought. The area's later occupants, the Pima and O'odham (also known as the Papago), are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant School Scottsdale AZ
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program 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 appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Scottsdale AZ.
More Medical Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 990