Medical Assistant Technical School South El Monte CA

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near South El Monte California

South El Monte CA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near South El Monte CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with South El Monte CA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the South El Monte CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

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

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education

In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of South El Monte CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in South El Monte CAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in South El Monte CA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, 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 may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible South El Monte CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask South El Monte CA medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to South El Monte CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential South El Monte CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with South El Monte CA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the South El Monte health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the South El Monte CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near South El Monte CA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near South El Monte California?

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

South El Monte, California

The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that South El Monte had a population of 20,116. The population density was 7,061.5 people per square mile (2,726.4/km²). The racial makeup of South El Monte was 10,136 (50.4%) White (3.4% Non-Hispanic White), 107 (0.5%) African American, 250 (1.2%) Native American, 2,211 (11.0%) Asian, 12 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 6,718 (33.4%) from other races, and 682 (3.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17,079 persons (84.9%).[10]

There were 4,569 households, out of which 2,643 (57.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,554 (55.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 925 (20.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 524 (11.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 329 (7.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 21 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 397 households (8.7%) were made up of individuals and 208 (4.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.39. There were 4,003 families (87.6% of all households); the average family size was 4.45.

The population was spread out with 6,041 people (30.0%) under the age of 18, 2,323 people (11.5%) aged 18 to 24, 5,894 people (29.3%) aged 25 to 44, 4,062 people (20.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,796 people (8.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males.

Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course South El Monte CA

South El Monte CA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Technical School. But irrespective of the kind 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in South El Monte CA.

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