How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Mountain View California
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Mountain View CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Mountain View CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Courses
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Mountain View CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Mountain View CA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Mountain View CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Mountain View CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Mountain View CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Mountain View CA area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Mountain View medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Mountain View CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during 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 convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mountain View CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy 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 Mountain View California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Mountain View CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Mountain View, California
Mountain View is a city located in Santa Clara County, California, United States, named for its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. From its origins as a stagecoach stop, it grew to a large suburb with a pedestrian-friendly downtown and a population of 74,066. The city borders Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay to the north, Los Altos to the south, and Moffett Federal Airfield and Sunnyvale to the east.
Situated in the southern end of the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the northwest corner of Santa Clara county, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, the first company to develop silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, was established in the city by William Shockley. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered in the city, including Google, Mozilla Foundation, Symantec, and Intuit. The original Byte Shop computer store was opened at 1063 El Camino Real, Mountain View, by Paul Terrell, and the first 50 Apple I computers were sold from that location. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority integrates the city with the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
The Mexican land grant of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was given in 1842 by Alta California Governor Juan Alvarado to Francisco Estrada. This grant was later passed on to Mariano Castro, who sold half of the land to Martin Murphy, Jr. Eventually, the former land grant became the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
Select the Right Medical Assistant School Mountain View CA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Are Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Mountain View CA.
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