How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Dos Palos California
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dos Palos CA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean 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 also. You might decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Dos Palos CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Dos Palos CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally 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 ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have the time to attend 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 certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Dos Palos CA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Dos Palos CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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 exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Dos Palos CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Dos Palos CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Dos Palos CA area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Dos Palos medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Dos Palos CA area and find out 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 wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dos Palos CA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dos Palos California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dos Palos CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Dos Palos, California
Dos Palos (formerly, Colony Center) is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Dos Palos is located 23 miles (37 km) south-southwest of Merced, at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m). The population was 4,950 at the 2010 census, up from 4,581 at the 2000 census.
In one of his expeditions (1820's) along the westside of the San Joaquin Valley, explorer Gabriel Moraga reported the location of two large isolated poplar trees, which he called "Dos Palos." In 19th Century Spanish usage, "palos" was used to describe tall pole-like trees or "timbers". 21st century usage often translates it as "sticks." The "Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita" Mexican Land Grant cites "Los Dos Palos" or "The Two Trees" as a boundary marker. In 1891, former school superintendent Bernhard Marks convinced cattle ranch king Henry Miller to develop a small town nearby. They gave it the name "Dos Palos Colony" but pronounced it with their Alsatian German accent as "Dahce Palace." This pronunciation remained for over one hundred years until a recent Spanish pronunciation revival. Marks brought forty pioneer families west from Iowa and Nebraska to establish the community. In 1892, unable to find good water, many of the settlers left. Marks convinced Miller to establish another town two miles away on land unsuitable for farming and ranching due to swamps and unsettling soils. Some of the settlers relocated. This new town was named Colony Center, California. In 1906, Dos Palos Colony was renamed South Dos Palos and Colony Center was renamed Dos Palos. The Post Office was briefly misspelled as one word, "Dospalos" but this was changed within a year. About a dozen of the colony's original families still reside locally. Through the years, people from many other locations joined the community. Dos Palos incorporated in 1935.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Dos Palos had a population of 4,950. The population density was 3,667.3 people per square mile (1,416.0/km²). The racial makeup of Dos Palos was 3,377 (68.2%) White, 167 (3.4%) African American, 62 (1.3%) Native American, 37 (0.7%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,075 (21.7%) from other races, and 228 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,075 persons (62.1%).
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Dos Palos CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Is Medical Assistant School. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Dos Palos CA.
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