How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Los Alamitos California
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Los Alamitos CA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Los Alamitos CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Education
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Los Alamitos 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 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest 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 designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn 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 extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Los Alamitos CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Los Alamitos CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Los Alamitos CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Los Alamitos CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose 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 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Los Alamitos CA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Los Alamitos medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Los Alamitos CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good 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 indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience 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 college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Los Alamitos CA, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy 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 Los Alamitos California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Los Alamitos CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Los Alamitos, California
Los Alamitos ("The Little Cottonwoods" in Spanish) is a city in Orange County, California. The city was incorporated in March 1960. The population was 11,449 at the 2010 census, down from 11,536 at the 2000 census. It is often mistakenly thought[who?] to include the adjacent but unincorporated community of Rossmoor (population just under 11,000), which uses Los Alamitos as its mailing address. Although bearing the city’s name, the Los Alamitos Race Course actually lies in the neighboring city of Cypress.
The history of the area during the Californio period and after U.S. annexation is detailed in the article on Rancho Los Alamitos. The town of Los Alamitos was established in 1896 by Lewellyn Bixby to support the new sugar beet factory in town built by the extremely wealthy Clark Brothers. William Andrews Clark, a future Senator from Montana, had built his fortune in mining, banking and logging in that state. His younger brother, J. Ross Clark, managed their operations in California after he moved to that state for health reasons. Lewellyn Bixby, whose family owned the surrounding land on the Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos, had been trying to build a sugar beet factory in that area for a few years but, due to financial losses in the 1880s, he no longer had the financial capital to undertake the sugar beet factory complex on his own. Bixby had made his fortune back in the 1850s when he and his cousins Benjamin and Thomas Flint, formed Flint, Bixby & Co. which became a thriving entity in mutton and wool, all originally housed on the Rancho San Justo, south of San Jose. After making an additional fortune from selling wool to the government during the Civil War, the Flints and Bixby bought up many properties in Southern California. One was the future Irvine Ranch and another was the Rancho Los Cerritos which makes up much of the western half of Long Beach. Flint, Bixby hired Lewellyn's younger brother Jotham to manage the Cerritos. When Flint, Bixby broke up Lewellyn assumed their Southern California properties and moved to Los Angeles and became the senior partner in his operations with his brother Jotham.
Around 1881, a cousin, John W. Bixby wanted to purchase the Rancho Los Alamitos. John W. put together a consortium of himself, his cousins Lewellyn and Jotham (owners of Rancho Los Cerritos) and banker I.W. Hellman to finance the purchase of the Alamitos land. Upon John's sudden death on 7 May 1887, the ranch was divided between the three owning families. The northern third adjacent to the Rancho Los Cerritos — the land roughly north of present Orangewood Ave.—went to the Lewellyn-Jotham faction (which later became the Bixby Land Company). By the mid-1890s, after the crash following the land boom of the 1880s—this group was relatively cash-poor and land rich. Having experimented in Northern California with sugar beets, the Bixbys agreed to provide the land, and contracted with Montana copper baron William A. Clark to provide the capital, and got E.A. Dyer to provide the expertise to build a new sugar beet factory on the Bixby's land. The community that grew up around this new sugar beet factory complex—with its streets of company houses for workers and surrounding farms—came to be called Los Alamitos. (As part of his arrangement to build and operate the sugar beet factory, William Clark and his brother H. Ross, who actually ran the Los Alamitos operation, also received 1,000 acres east of the factory and a year later completed a purchase of 8,000 acres (32 km2) of land north of the sugar plant—most of the latter in the Rancho Los Cerritos boundaries—that would eventually become the Long Beach Airport, Long Beach City College, and the city of Lakewood. Also, Clark and Hellman were intricately involved with the machinations and corporate dealings of railroad tycoon E. H. Harriman and Henry Edwards Huntington and the destiny of the Southern Pacific in Southern California. In addition, some time after establishing Los Alamitos, the Clarks completed their railroad from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, establishing the desert stop of Las Vegas in the process.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Los Alamitos CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon 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, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Requirements. 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Los Alamitos CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4600