Medical Assistant Education Requirements Washington CA

How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Washington California

Washington CA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Washington CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very 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 alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges 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 Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Washington CA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Washington CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers 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 facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Training Programs

In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Washington CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate 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 applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Washington CAThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Washington CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Washington CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided 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 available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Washington CA medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Washington CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, 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 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Washington CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn 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 obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Washington CA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Washington medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that initial job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Washington CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington CA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Washington California?

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

Mount Washington, Los Angeles

Mount Washington is a neighborhood in the San Rafael Hills of Northeast Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1909, it is a historic area with one high-achieving elementary school within it. It includes the Southwest Museum, the world headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship, and Eldred Street, one of the three steepest streets in Los Angeles.

Mount Washington was founded in 1909 as a subdivision laid out by real estate developer Robert Marsh. Marsh built the Mount Washington Hotel at the summit of Mount Washington, and the Los Angeles and Mount Washington Railway Company was soon established as a funicular railway up the hill as an alternative to constructing roads up the area's steep hillsides. The railway operated until January 1919.[2]

The district is generally considered the most affluent area of the East Side, and also contains the region's largest concentration of non-Latino whites (though not as affluent as the neighboring cities of South Pasadena, San Marino, and southwest Pasadena; for instance, 30% of census tract 1851 (Mount Washington) has incomes of $100,000 or greater; while 35% of census tract 4806 (South Pasadena) has incomes of $100,000 or greater).[3] The "beauty and the quirky nature of Mount Washington" has inspired songs.[4]

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Washington CA

Washington CA medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied 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 Washington CA.

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