What Can A Medical Assistant Do San Rafael CA

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near San Rafael California

San Rafael CA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near San Rafael CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with San Rafael CA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the San Rafael CA clinics, hospitals 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 providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many San Rafael CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in San Rafael CAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in San Rafael CA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible San Rafael 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) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask San Rafael CA medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to San Rafael CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, 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, a number of prospective San Rafael CA employers will not hire 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 develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with San Rafael CA area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the San Rafael health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the San Rafael CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see 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 program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Rafael CA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might 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 San Rafael California?

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

San Rafael, California

San Rafael (/ˌsæn rəˈfɛl/ SAN rə-FEL; Spanish pronunciation: [san rafaˈel]; "Saint Raphael") is a city and the county seat of Marin County, California, United States. The city is located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2010 census the city's population is 57,713.

What is now San Rafael was once the site of several Coast Miwok villages: Awani-wi, near downtown San Rafael, Ewu, near Terra Linda and Shotomko-cha, in Marinwood.[10]Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by three priests—Father Narciso Durán from Mission San José, Father Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Luis Gíl y Taboada from La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles—on Dec. 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain. Mission San Rafael Arcángel was located a donkey's day walk to the mission below it. The mission and the city are named after the Archangel Raphael, the Angel of Healing.

The mission was originally planned as a hospital site for Central Valley American Indians who had become ill at the cold San Francisco Mission Dolores. Father Luis Gil, who spoke several Native American languages, was put in charge of the facility. In part because of its ideal weather, San Rafael was later upgraded to full mission status in 1822. The mission had 300 converts within its first year, and 1,140 converts by 1828. The Mexican government took over the California missions in 1834, and Mission San Rafael was abandoned in 1844, eventually falling into ruin. The current mission was built in 1949 in the style of the original, but faces at right angles to the alignment of the original.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Course San Rafael CA

San Rafael CA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Medical Assistant Do. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in San Rafael CA.

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