Where Can I Get My Medical Assistant Certification Portola Valley CA

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Portola Valley California

Portola Valley CA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Portola Valley CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Portola Valley CA nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Portola Valley CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing 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

While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Education

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Portola Valley 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 two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical 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 requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Portola Valley CAThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Portola Valley CA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Portola Valley CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Portola Valley CA medical assistant programsPrior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Portola Valley CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Portola Valley CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course 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. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain 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 elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Portola Valley CA area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Portola Valley healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Portola Valley CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, 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 Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Portola Valley CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Portola Valley California?

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

Portola Valley, California

Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States, which was founded in 1964. It is the wealthiest town in America per the American Community Survey,[5] based on per-capita income for communities larger than 4,000. Home prices are also among the highest in the nation.[5]

The Native Americans already present were Ohlone and specifically the group (or groups) known as Olpen or Guemelento but these were later moved to Mission Dolores and Mission Santa Clara de Asís which claimed the land and peoples.[7][8] The area's written history dates back to 1833, when a square league of land was given to Domingo Peralta and Máximo Martínez by Governor José Figueroa to form the Rancho Cañada del Corte de Madera.[9] In those days it was used for lumbering and cattle grazing. By the 1880s Andrew S. Hallidie, a wire rope manufacturer, had built his country home of Eagle Home Farm in what is now Portola Valley. He built a 7,341 foot long aerial tramway from his house to the top of Skyline in 1894 though it was removed after his death in 1900.[10][11]

In 1886 the name Portola-Crespi Valley was bestowed on the area from the then community of Crystal Springs (now under Crystal Springs Reservoir to the then community of Searsville (in the area of the present day Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve); Crespi is for Juan Crespí, a Franiciscan friar with the Portola expedition.[9]

Pick the Best Medical Assistant School Portola Valley CA

Portola Valley CA medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of 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 certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Where Can I Get My Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Portola Valley CA.

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