How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Glendale California
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Glendale CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the Glendale CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based 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 assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Glendale CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to 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 practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Glendale CA area medical 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 right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Glendale CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among 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). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Glendale CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Glendale CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine 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 naturally 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 compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Glendale CA area medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Glendale medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Glendale CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere 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 full-time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Glendale California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Glendale CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,167, making it the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 23rd-largest city in California. It is located about 8 mi (13 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.
Glendale lies in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley, bisected by the Verdugo Mountains, and is a suburb in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The city is bordered to the northwest by the Sun Valley and Tujunga neighborhoods of Los Angeles; to the northeast by La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated area of La Crescenta; to the west by Burbank and Griffith Park; to the east by Eagle Rock and Pasadena; to the south by the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles; and to the southeast by Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Golden State, Ventura, Glendale, and Foothill freeways run through the city.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery contains the remains of many noted celebrities and local residents. Grand Central Airport was the departure point for the first commercial west-to-east transcontinental flight flown by Charles Lindbergh.
Select the Best Medical Assistant College Glendale CA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Training. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Glendale CA.
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