How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near El Segundo California
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near El Segundo CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the El Segundo CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many El Segundo CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in El Segundo 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 may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible El Segundo CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to El Segundo CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective El Segundo CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with El Segundo CA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the El Segundo medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the El Segundo CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Segundo CA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near El Segundo California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the El Segundo CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
El Segundo, California
El Segundo is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. El Segundo, from Spanish, means "The Second" in English. Located on the Santa Monica Bay, it was incorporated on January 18, 1917, and part of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. The population was 16,654 at the 2010 census, slightly up from 16,033 at the 2000 census.
The El Segundo and Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The area was once a part of Rancho Sausal Redondo ("Round Willow Patch Ranch"). Rancho Sausal Redondo extended from Playa Del Rey in the North to Redondo Beach in the South. Originally a Mexican land grant owned by Antonio Ygnacio Avila, the rancho was later purchased by a Scottish baronet named Sir Robert Burnett. After his return to Scotland, the property was purchased by then current manager of the rancho, Daniel Freeman. Daniel Freeman sold portions of the rancho to several persons. George H. Peck owned the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of land the Chevron Refinery now sits on. Peck also developed land in neighboring El Porto where a street still bears his name. The city earned its name ("the second" in Spanish) as it was the site of the second Standard Oil refinery on the West Coast (the first was at Richmond in Northern California), when Standard Oil of California purchased the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of farm land in 1911.
The Douglas Aircraft Company plant in El Segundo was one of the major aircraft manufacturing facilities in California during World War II. It was one of the major producers of SBD Dauntless dive bombers, which achieved fame in the Battle of Midway. The facility, now operated by Northrop Grumman, is still an aircraft plant.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training El Segundo CA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long To Become A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in El Segundo CA.
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