How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Newhall California
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Newhall CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included some 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 type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Newhall CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Newhall CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Newhall CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might 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 stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Newhall CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Newhall CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you choose 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 need to complete 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Newhall CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask 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 school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish 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 Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Newhall CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Newhall medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Newhall CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one 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 Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Newhall CA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may 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 emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Newhall California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Newhall CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Newhall, Santa Clarita, California
Newhall is the southernmost and oldest community of Santa Clarita, California. Prior to the 1987 consolidation of Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, and other neighboring communities into the city of Santa Clarita, it was an unincorporated area. It was the first permanent town in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Named after businessman Henry Mayo Newhall, Newhall is home to the William S. Hart County Park, featuring tours of the famous silent movie maker's mansion. Newhall is also home to the Pioneer Oil Refinery (California Historical Landmark, No. 172), the oldest surviving oil refinery in the world and the first commercially successful refinery in California. Over the years, Newhall has been the location for many movies, including Suddenly (1954) and Disney's The World's Greatest Athlete (1973). The TV-series The Magnificent Seven was also for the most part filmed in Newhall.
Newhall was the site of the Newhall incident, in which four California Highway Patrol officers were shot to death on April 6, 1970, during a traffic stop of two heavily armed career criminals. This led to increased emphasis on officer safety both within the CHP and nationwide.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program Newhall CA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged 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 What’s A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Newhall CA.
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