How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Lone Pine California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lone Pine CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Lone Pine CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some choose 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Lone Pine CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Lone Pine CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Lone Pine CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Lone Pine CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin 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 need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Lone Pine CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Lone Pine CA area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Lone Pine health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Lone Pine 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 a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller 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 possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to see 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 to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lone Pine CA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lone Pine California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lone Pine CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Lone Pine is located 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Independence, at an elevation of 3727 feet (1136 m). The population was 2,035 at the 2010 census, up from 1,655 at the 2000 census. The town is located in the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills. From possible choices of urban, rural, and frontier, the Census Bureau identifies this area as "frontier". The local hospital, Southern Inyo Hospital, offers standby emergency services. On March 26, 1872, the very large Lone Pine earthquake destroyed most of the town and killed 27 of its 250 to 300 residents.
The Paiute people inhabited the Owens Valley area from prehistoric times. These early inhabitants are known to have established trading routes which extended to the Pacific Central Coast, delivering materials originating in the Owens Valley to such tribes as the Chumash.
In 1864, a geological survey team from California discovered Mt. Whitney and named the peak after the team's leader, Josiah Whitney. One member of the survey team, Clarence King, made two unsuccessful attempts at climbing the mountain. Returning in 1871, he summited what was then believed to be Mt. Whitney, but turned out to be Mt. Langley. Two years later, he returned and summited Mt. Whitney on September 19, 1873, only one month after the actual first ascent was made by three residents of Lone Pine: Charles Begole, J J. Lucas, and Albert H. Johnson. They reportedly reached the summit at noon on August 18, 1873, starting from Kern Canyon, where they had gone for a fishing trip.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Lone Pine CA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire 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 discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Online Schools. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lone Pine CA.
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