How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Dublin California
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dublin CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties 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 Dublin CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type 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 physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Dublin CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Dublin CA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Dublin CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Dublin CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Dublin CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Dublin CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Dublin medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Dublin CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness 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 school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dublin CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out 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 Dublin California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dublin CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Dublin (formerly, Amador and Dougherty's Station) is a suburban city of the East (San Francisco) Bay and Tri-Valley regions of Alameda County, California, United States. Located along the north side of Interstate 580 at the intersection with Interstate 680, roughly 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown San Francisco, 23 miles (37 km) east of downtown Oakland, and 31 miles (50 km) north of downtown San Jose, it was referred to as "Dublin" in reference to the city of Dublin in Ireland because of the large number of Irish who lived there. The post office formally adopted the name in the 1890s.
Dublin is the second fastest-growing city in the state of California, behind only Santa Clarita. The population was 46,063 (2010 census), and the 2017 estimate at 60,939. Dublin was formerly home to the headquarters of Sybase, Inc (now part of SAP SE) and is currently home to the headquarters for CallidusCloud, Ross Stores, Tria Beauty, Medley Health, Challenge Dairy and Arlen Ness. It will also become home to Patelco Credit Union 
The City of Dublin is a general law city operating under a City Council / City Manager form of local government. This form of government combines an elected mayor and council and an appointed local government administrator. The City Council elections are nonpartisan. The Mayor serves a two-year term, and Council members serve four-year terms.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course Dublin CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 Career. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Dublin CA.
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