How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Newbury Park California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Newbury Park CA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Newbury Park CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain 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
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Newbury Park CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals 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 as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Newbury Park CA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Newbury Park CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide 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 begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Newbury Park CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Newbury Park CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Newbury Park CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Newbury Park healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Newbury Park CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Newbury Park CA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Newbury Park California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Newbury Park CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Newbury Park, California
Newbury Park is a town located mostly within the western Thousand Oaks city limits in Ventura County, California, United States. It makes up all of ZIP code 91320, and is within area code 805. Lying within the Conejo Valley in the northwestern part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, Newbury Park abuts the Santa Monica Mountains. It is approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Downtown Los Angeles and less than 7 mi (11 km) from the Los Angeles County border in Westlake Village. The closest coastal city is Malibu, 22 mi (35 km) from Newbury Park, which may be reached through winding roads or hiking trails crossing the Santa Monica Mountains. About 28,000 of Thousand Oaks' 110,000 residents reside in Newbury Park. Newbury Park makes up around 40 percent of Thousand Oaks’ total land area.
Newbury Park, along with Thousand Oaks proper, have numerous times ranked among the safest and also wealthiest communities in the United States.Money Magazine has ranked Newbury Park as one of the most affluent cities in the United States. It has the 11th highest per-capita income and the fourth-highest median household income in the country. As of 2013, the median household income in Newbury Park is $107,302, compared to $60,190 for California as a whole and $53,046 nationwide.
Timberville was a previous 19th century name for Newbury Park. Newbury Park is named after Egbert Starr Newbury, who was the founder of Newbury Park, as well as the first postmaster in the Conejo Valley in 1875. Egbert Starr Newbury called his ranch here “Newbury Park”, which ultimately became the name for the entire town. Egbert Starr Newbury and his family owned thousands of acres in the Conejo Valley, but only lived in Newbury Park for a total of six years. He moved from Michigan to Southern California for health reasons in 1871, opened Conejo Valley’s first post office in 1875, but left California only two years later. The Newbury Park Post Office has changed locations numerous times but the Newbury Park name has survived and is still used even though much of the area was incorporated into the city of Thousand Oaks.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Newbury Park CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Program. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Newbury Park CA.
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