Certified Medical Assistant Classes Novato CA

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Novato California

Novato CA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Novato CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of future students start by researching 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 critical factors also. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (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 relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges 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 offered.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Novato CA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Novato CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based 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 support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education

Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Novato 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 generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest 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 6 to 9 months. They are developed 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 available at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Novato CAThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Novato CA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Novato CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Novato CA medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, 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 researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Novato CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Novato CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Novato CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Novato medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Novato CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, 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 receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? 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 offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Novato CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Novato California?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Novato CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Novato, California

Novato (/nəˈvɑːtoʊ/ nə-VAH-toh) is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of San Rafael[9] and about 30 miles (48 km) north of San Francisco on U.S. 101. Novato has been called one of the best places to live in the US. [10]

In 1839, the Mexican government granted the 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint Novatus at his baptism.[12] Subsequently, four additional land grants were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olompali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at 56,621 acres (229.1 km2), awarded to Pablo de la Guerra and John B.R. Cooper in 1844.[13] Novato, along with the rest of California, became part of the United States on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought 15,000 acres (61 km2) in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards.

The original town was located around Novato Creek at what is now South Novato Boulevard. A railroad was built in 1879, connecting Novato to Sonoma County and San Rafael. The area around the train depot became known as New Town, and forms the edge of what today is Old Town Novato. The current depot was built in 1917, but closed in 1959, and is largely derelict. The depot consisted of two buildings: a warehouse and a station. The warehouse burned twice in the intervening years. Behind the rail station/warehouse complex was a grain and feed mill complex. The mill complex, along with the warehouse portion of the rail station, was torn down in late 2007 to make way for public parking and a Whole Foods/high-density housing development, while the derelict station is still standing.

Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Novato CA

Novato CA medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Classes. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Novato CA.

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