How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Penryn California
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Penryn CA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may 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 carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Penryn 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 an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving 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. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Penryn CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, 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 option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Penryn CA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve 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 an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Penryn CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type 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 evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Penryn CA with the most affordable 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 look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Penryn CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’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. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, 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, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Penryn CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Penryn health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Penryn CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide 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 get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness 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 college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Penryn CA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Penryn California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Penryn CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Penryn (Washo: pénwin ) is a census-designated place in Placer County, California, in the United States. Geographic location is 38°51′08″N 121°10′06″W / 38.85222°N 121.16833°W / 38.85222; -121.16833. Penryn is located 5.5 miles (8.9 km) northeast of Rocklin. The community's ZIP code is 95663 and the area code 916. The population was 831 at the 2010 census.
The story of Penryn begins in late 1864 when a Welsh immigrant by the name of Griffith Griffith established a granite quarry on quarter section of land leased from the Central Pacific Railroad. A siding was completed on February 6, 1865, and the first load of cut stone was shipped less than a week later. The quarry was open for business, but as yet, had no name. The railroad, matter-of-factly, designated the siding “Griffith’s Granite Station,” but Griffith had something else in mind.
Back home in North Wales, G. G., like his father before him, worked in the Penrhyn Slate Quarry. In Welsh, the word penrhyn translates to headland or promontory, which aptly described the seaport from which the Penrhyn Quarry took its name. When it came to naming his new enterprise, the choice was obvious, but not the spelling. To simplify things and avoid the inevitable misspellings that were likely to occur, on the evening of May 17, 1865, Griffith, after discussing the matter with Central Pacific legal counsel Edwin Bryant Crocker (known later for the Crocker Art Museum), agreed to drop the “h” from the original Welsh spelling and settled on the name, and spelling, we know today. The following day, Griffith recorded this auspicious event in his diary: “Concluded last night with Judge Crocker to call this quarry Penryn.”
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Penryn CA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant School Online Accredited. But irrespective 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Penryn CA.
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