How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Covina California
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Covina CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Covina CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Covina CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two 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 general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Covina CA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Covina CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. 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 take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Covina CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Covina CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in 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 school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational 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? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Covina CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Covina healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Covina CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Covina CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Covina California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Covina CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley region. The population was 47,796 at the 2010 census, up from 46,837 at the 2000 census. The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There", was coined when the incorporated area of the city was only (some say slightly less than) one square mile.
Covina is often confused with West Covina which is actually larger in both area and population, located to its south and westside. Irwindale lies to the west, as well as the unincorporated area of Vincent, and the city of Baldwin Park. Azusa and Glendora are to the north, the unincorporated community of Charter Oak to the northeast, San Dimas to the east, the unincorporated areas of Ramona and Via Verde, and the city of Pomona to the southeast.
Present day Covina was originally within the homelands of the indigenous Tongva people for 5,000 to 8,000 years. In the 18th century it the became part of Rancho La Puente in Alta California, a 1770s Spanish colonial and 1842 Mexican land grants.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Covina CA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate 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 lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Program. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Covina CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 2500