How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Hoxie Arkansas
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hoxie AR, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few 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 role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Hoxie AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Arkansas law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Hoxie AR health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Hoxie AR area health care 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. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Hoxie AR medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Hoxie AR with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Hoxie AR employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate 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 earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hoxie AR area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Hoxie healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Hoxie AR area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoxie AR, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hoxie Arkansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hoxie AR area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Prior to 1955, Hoxie maintained a dual system of education for younger students, one for white students and another one for blacks. Rather than maintain two high schools, white high school students were educated locally, while black high school students were bused to a black school in Jonesboro. On June 25, 1955, in response to the recent Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Hoxie's superintendent, Kunkel Edward Vance, spearheaded plans to integrate the schools, and he received the unanimous support of Hoxie's school board. On July 11, 1955, Hoxie schools recommenced and allowed African American students to attend. In order to do "what was morally right in the sight of God" and to "uphold the law of the land", Vance insisted that all facilities, including restrooms and cafeterias, be integrated.
Although there were many nervous parents, the schools opening on July 11 went smoothly. The teachers and children got along fine, but unlike the two other school districts in Arkansas (Charleston and Fayetteville) that implemented partial integration, Hoxie attracted national attention. A team of photographers from Life Magazine was on hand to document the event. After the publication of the Life article, segregationists from outside the area converged on Hoxie in an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the school board decision. Handbills were printed making wild assertions including allegations of a plot between negroes, Communists, and Jews, and advocating for the death of "Race Mixers". A group of local citizens, led by soybean farmer Herbert Brewer, confronted the school board in an unproductive meeting. After the meeting, Brewer organized a White Citizen's Council, which called for students, both black and white to boycott the schools. Approximately one third of the white students refused to attend the schools beginning on August 4, 1955.
A lawyer, Amis Guthridge, the leader of White America, inc., attempted to draw more outside influence into the fray, inflamimg passions with statements such as calling school integration a "plan that was founded in Moscow in 1924 to mongrelize the white race in America" and claimed that "white Methodist women" wanted integration so they could get negro men into their bedroom. Johnson, Guthridge and others fanned the flames, and were joined by Orval Faubus in trying to invoke fears of miscegenation in white husbands and parents. In one rally, Faubus shouted "they do not want equality, you know they don't want equality"..."They want what you've got, they want your women!"
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course Hoxie AR
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education. But irrespective 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Hoxie AR.
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