How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Reseda California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Reseda CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Reseda CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. 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 providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some opt 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 Training Programs
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Reseda CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring 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 Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have 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 earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Reseda CA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Reseda CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Reseda CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when researching programs. 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 College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Reseda CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Reseda CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Reseda healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Reseda CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high 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 broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention 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 possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Reseda CA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy 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 Reseda California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Reseda CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Reseda, Los Angeles
Reseda /rəˈsiːdə/ is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1912, and its central business district started in 1915. The neighborhood was devoted to agriculture for many years. Earthquakes struck the area in 1971 and 1994.
The neighborhood has fifteen public and five private schools. The community includes public parks, a senior center and a regional branch library. Parts of Reseda have been used in several motion picture and television productions.
In 1909 the Suburban Homes Company, a syndicate led by H. J. Whitley, general manager of the Board of Control, along with Harry Chandler, H. G. Otis, M. H. Sherman and O. F. Brandt purchased 48,000 acres of the Farming and Milling Company for $2,500,000. Henry E. Huntington, extended his Pacific Electric Railway (Red Cars) through the Valley to Owensmouth (now Canoga Park). The Suburban Home Company laid out plans for roads and the towns of Van Nuys, Reseda (Marian) and Canoga Park (Owensmouth). The rural areas were annexed into the city of Los Angeles in 1915.On April 2, 1915 H. J. Whitley purchased the Suburban Home Company so that he would have complete control for finishing the development. 
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Reseda CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 Medical Assistant Description. But regardless 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Reseda CA.
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