How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Livermore California
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Livermore CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right 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 cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Livermore CA clinics, hospitals 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 facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Livermore CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good choice for those who might not have 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 attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Livermore CA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Livermore CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Livermore CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Livermore CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get 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 elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Livermore CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Livermore medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Livermore CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? 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 have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Livermore CA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Livermore California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Livermore CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Livermore (formerly Livermores, Livermore Ranch, and Nottingham) is a city in Alameda County, California, in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 89,648, Livermore is the most populous city in the Tri-Valley. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area. The incumbent Mayor of Livermore is John Marchand.
Livermore was founded by William Mendenhall and named for Robert Livermore, his friend and a local rancher who settled in the area in the 1840s. Livermore is the home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for which the chemical element livermorium is named (and thus, placing the city's name in the periodic table). Livermore is also the California site of Sandia National Laboratories, which is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its south side is home to local vineyards. The city has redeveloped its downtown district and is considered part of the Tri-Valley area, comprising Amador, Livermore and San Ramon valleys.
Before its incorporation in 1796 under the Franciscan Mission San Jose, located in what is now the southern part of Fremont, the Livermore area was home to some of the Ohlone (or Costanoan) native people. Each mission had two to three friars and a contingent of up to five soldiers to help keep order in the mission and to help control the natives. Like most indigenous people in California, the natives in the vicinity of Mission San Jose were mostly coerced into joining it, where they were taught Spanish, the Catholic religion, singing, construction, agricultural trades and herding—the Native Californian people originally had no agriculture and no domestic animals except dogs. Other tribes were coerced into other adjacent missions. The Mission Indians were restricted to the mission grounds where they lived in sexually segregated "barracks" that they built themselves with padre instruction. The population of all California missions plunged steeply as new diseases ravaged the Mission Indian populations—they had almost no immunity to these "new to them" diseases, and death rates over 50% were not uncommon.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Livermore CA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure 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 start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Livermore CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 1200