How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Miramonte California
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Miramonte CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type 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 challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Miramonte CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Education
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Miramonte CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma 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 routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Miramonte CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Miramonte CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Miramonte CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you choose 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 intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Miramonte CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose 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 one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Miramonte CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Miramonte health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Miramonte CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical 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 may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Miramonte CA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Miramonte California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Miramonte CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Miramonte High School
Miramonte High School is a public high school located in Orinda, California, United States. It is part of the Acalanes Union High School District. The school has a college preparatory program, with 15 Advanced Placement courses offered. Over 98% of its graduates go on to college. 320 students graduated in 2005, with 75% attending a four-year college. 35% are attending out-of-state colleges. Miramonte High School ranks 89th of all high schools in the nation as of autumn 2009, according to U.S. News & World Report. As of 2013, this ranking has dropped to 173rd. On September 4, 2008, Miramonte High School was ranked first in the 2008 Academic Performance Index (API) released by the California Department of Education (CDE). However, the school no longer holds this ranking.
Miramonte High School once participated in the Virtual High School Consortium, a response to the problems of distance education which allowed courses to be taught over the internet. Students could participate in these virtual classes from on-site internet access, or from a home connection. No classes are currently being provided as virtual classes.
Miramonte High School offers its seniors the choice of a WISE project their senior year. WISE replaces the second semester of English with an independent inquiry into a topic of the student's choice. The choices of subject matter are varied; although photography and theatre work are consistently popular, project subjects have included astrophysics, choral conducting, and interning at Chez Panisse restaurant.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Miramonte CA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select 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 Medical Assistant Job Description. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Miramonte CA.
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