How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Temple City California
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Temple City CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools 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 Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Temple City CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type 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 nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Courses
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Temple City CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent option for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Temple City CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Temple City CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Temple City CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Temple City CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create 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 looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Temple City CA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Temple City health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Temple City CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Temple City CA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Temple City California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Temple City CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Temple City, California
Temple City is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Temple City is part of a cluster of cities, along with Arcadia, Rosemead, Monterey Park, San Marino, and San Gabriel, in the west San Gabriel Valley with a rapidly growing Asian population. Temple City also has a Cuban and Puerto Rican community, among other Latino nationalities. Approximately one third of the city's population is white. The population was 35,558 at the 2010 census.
The town of Temple was originated on May 30, 1923, when Walter P. Temple (June 7, 1870 – November 13, 1938, Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum) purchased 400 acres (160 ha) of land four miles (6 km) east of San Gabriel which had been part of Lucky Baldwin's Rancho Santa Anita. The original townsite (Tract 6561, recorded with the LA County Tax Assessor in June 1923) corresponds to the present-day area bounded by Garibaldi Avenue on the north, Baldwin Avenue on the east, Live Oak Avenue on the south, and Encinita Avenue on the west.
Temple, the son and tenth child of Pliny Fisk Temple and William Workman's daughter Antonia Margarita Workman, was born on Rancho La Merced, which is today part of the city of Montebello. This was the site of the original San Gabriel Mission, founded by the Franciscan Fathers next to the rich bottom lands of the San Gabriel River. Historically called "Rio de los Temblores", which means the River of the Earthquakes, it is today known as the Rio Hondo River.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Temple City CA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 Schools. But regardless 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Temple City CA.
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