How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Compton California
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Compton CA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Compton CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers 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 providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Training Courses
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Compton CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Compton CA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary 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 an excellent choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Compton CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Compton CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Compton CA employers will not hire 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 develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering 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. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower 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 enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Compton CA area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Compton healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Compton CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Compton CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Compton California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Compton CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,455. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. The city is generally a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, and is home to a relatively young population, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 35 (2010 data).
In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded a tract of over 75,000 acres (300 km2) to Juan Jose Dominguez in this area. The tract was named Rancho San Pedro. Dominguez's name was later applied to the Dominguez Hills area south of Compton. The tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets. The rancho was subdivided and parcels were sold within the Californios of Alta California until the lands were ceded after the Mexican-American war in 1848. American immigrants acquired most of the rancho lands after 1848.[clarification needed]
In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of 30 pioneers to the area. These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California, in search of ways to earn a living other than the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton. Compton's earliest settlers were faced with terrible hardships as they farmed the land in bleak weather to get by with just the barest subsistence. The weather continued to be harsh, rainy and cold, and fuel was difficult to find. To gather firewood it was necessary to travel to mountains close to Pasadena. The round trip took almost a week. Many in the Compton party wanted to relocate to a friendlier climate and settle down, but as there were two general stores within traveling distance—one in the pueblo of Los Angeles, the other in Wilmington—they eventually decided to stay put.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Compton CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of 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 pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Become A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Compton CA.
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