How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Marina California
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Marina CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean 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 choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Marina CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Programs
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Marina CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade 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 classes. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Marina CA area medical 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 may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Marina CA medical employers just will not hire 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Marina CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Marina 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 colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Marina CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Marina medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Marina CA area and find out 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 health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator 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 face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marina CA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Marina California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Marina CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2013 population at 20,370. Marina is located along the central coast of California, 8 miles (13 km) west of Salinas, and 8 miles north of Monterey. Marina is also connected to Monterey, California by California State Route 1, which also connects it with Santa Cruz, California, after driving for about 35 miles. Marina is at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city on the Monterey Peninsula. The city includes part of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus, UC Santa Cruz UC MBEST center, and the Veterans Transition Center (VTC). In 2012, Marina was named one of the 100 Best Community for Young People by America's Promise Alliance. The Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital, built in 1941 to provide healthcare for U.S. Army horses and mules, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. This is the first such official recognition on old Fort Ord.
William Locke-Paddon founded the town on 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of land he bought for the purpose. The Marina post office opened in 1916. Marina incorporated in 1975. The City's history is intertwined with that of Fort Ord. Fort Ord lands were used as an infantry training center since the Mexican–American War. Major growth took place in 1938 with the first joint Army and Navy maneuvers held in 1940.
Fort Ord was selected in 1991 for decommissioning and the post formally closed after troop reassignment in 1994. In July 1994 the first academic year of California State University, Monterey Bay opened, and barracks were soon transformed into dorms.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Marina CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 Good Medical Assistant Schools. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Marina CA.
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