How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Bodega Bay California
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bodega Bay CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Bodega Bay CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities 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 facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a particular 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 Courses
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Bodega Bay CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. 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 four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Bodega Bay CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Bodega Bay CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like 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, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bodega Bay CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Bodega Bay CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, 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 ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Bodega Bay CA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Bodega Bay medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Bodega Bay CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bodega Bay CA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bodega Bay California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bodega Bay CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bodega Bay, California
Bodega Bay is a town and census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma County, California, United States. The population was 1,077 at the 2010 census. The town, located along State Route 1, is on the eastern side of Bodega Harbor, an inlet of Bodega Bay on the Pacific coast.
Bodega Bay is the site of the first Russian structures built in California, which were built in 1809 by Commerce Counseller Ivan Alexandrovich Kuskov of the Russian-American Company in the lead-up to the establishment of Fort Ross. For the Russians, the settlement in Bodega Bay was called Port Rumyantsev, named after the Russian Foreign Minister Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev, and it served as a port to support Fort Ross and the larger Russian community known as Colony Ross.
The location scenes in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film The Birds (1963) were filmed in both Bodega Bay and nearby Bodega (though both were represented as being parts of the movie's Bodega Bay.) The town markets itself with the film in many ways, including its Birds-themed visitors' center, although none of the film's primary locations are found there. The church and schoolhouse shown in the film are located on Bodega Hwy in Bodega. The town was also featured in the cult horror movie Puppet Master (1989).
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Bodega Bay CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bodega Bay CA.
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