How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Moss Landing California
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Moss Landing CA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Moss Landing CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Moss Landing CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 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 generally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Moss Landing CA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Moss Landing CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Moss Landing CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Moss Landing CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Moss Landing CA area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Moss Landing medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Moss Landing CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might 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 likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Moss Landing CA, make certain 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 all clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Moss Landing California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Moss Landing CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Moss Landing, California
Moss Landing (formerly, Moss) is a census designated place (CDP) in Monterey County, California, United States. Moss Landing is located 15 miles (24 km) north-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of 10 feet (3 m). It is located on the shore of Monterey Bay, at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough, and at the head of the submarine Monterey Canyon.
The earliest culture that left evidence of the Moss Landing Elkhorn Slough area was that of the Ohlone Indians. Evidence from archaeological digs show that they may have lived here as long as 4,000 years ago. The Spanish took the landscape from the Ohlone Indians when they began settling missions in the 1700s and ran cattle over the hills of the surrounding area. The Americans arrived in the mid- 1800s and farmers turned the area into cropland.
Moss Landing was originally called Moss. The Moss post office opened in 1895, and changed its name to Moss Landing in 1917. It is named for Charles Moss, a Texas ship captain who with a partner built a wharf there. It became a busy whaling and fishing port and a location for fish processing plants and canneries. The Moss Landing Harbor District, established in the 1940s, dredged channels and built piers. Moss Landing Power Plant opened in 1950. The California State University system founded Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 1966 (it was relocated after the Loma Prieta Earthquake destroyed the facility in 1989), and in the mid-1990s the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was moved to Moss Landing from Pacific Grove. In the 1980s sanitary sewers were installed.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Course Moss Landing CA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Moss Landing CA.
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