How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Shingle Springs California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Shingle Springs CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to 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 offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Shingle Springs CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some elect 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Shingle Springs CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Shingle Springs CA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal 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 courses 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 mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Shingle Springs CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably 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 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, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Shingle Springs CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Shingle Springs CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Shingle Springs CA area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Shingle Springs medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Shingle Springs CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to witness 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 college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shingle Springs CA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Shingle Springs California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Shingle Springs CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Shingle Springs, California
Shingle Springs (formerly, Shingle Spring and Shingle) is a census-designated place (CDP) in El Dorado County, California, United States. The population was 4,432 at the 2010 census, up from 2,643 at the 2000 census. It is located about 40 miles from Sacramento in the Gold Country foothills and sits directly on Highway 50. The towns of Coloma and Placerville are less than 15 miles away.
Like many of the other towns in California's Mother Lode, Shingle Springs grew on the site of a mining camp set up by gold miners during the California Gold Rush, in this case a group of "49ers" who had followed the Carson-Emigrant Trail through Pleasant Valley, Nevada. It took its name from a horse-drawn shingle machine capable of producing 16,000 shingles a day that was located near the springs at the western edge of the camp. The Boston-Newton Joint Stock Association, which left Boston April 16, 1849, camped there the night before their arrival at Sutter's Fort on September 27, after a remarkable journey across the continent. A rich store of written records preserved by these pioneers has left a detailed picture of the Gold Rush. As a result, the town is now designated California Historical Landmark #456.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Shingle Springs had a population of 4,432. The population density was 538.0 people per square mile (207.7/km²). The racial makeup of Shingle Springs was 3,919 (88.4%) White, 14 (0.3%) African American, 108 (2.4%) Native American, 50 (1.1%) Asian, 3 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 132 (3.0%) from other races, and 206 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 469 persons (10.6%).
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Shingle Springs CA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Accreditation. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Shingle Springs CA.
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