How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Whitethorn California
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whitethorn CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Whitethorn CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized 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 Programs
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Whitethorn CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade 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 courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Whitethorn CA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Whitethorn CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Whitethorn CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. 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, a number of prospective Whitethorn CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin 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 of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Whitethorn CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Whitethorn healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Whitethorn CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitethorn CA, make sure 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. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whitethorn California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Whitethorn CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Garberville is a census-designated place in Humboldt County, California. It is located on the South Fork of the Eel River 52 miles (84 km) south-southeast of Eureka, at an elevation of 535 feet (163 m). The population was 913 at the 2010 United States Census. It is approximately 200 miles (320 km) north of San Francisco, California, and within a fifteen-minute drive to Humboldt Redwoods State Park and a sixty-minute drive to Eureka, the county seat. Garberville is the primary town in the area known as the Mateel Region, consisting of parts of the Mattole and Eel River watersheds in southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino counties.
In 1853 a Spanish explorer, Antone Garcia, settled in the area near Town Gulch, which runs through modern-day Garberville. The first post office in Garberville opened in 1874. Jacob C. Garber the town postmaster later named the town after himself in 1879.
Garberville is located at 40°06′01″N 123°47′42″W / 40.10028°N 123.79500°W / 40.10028; -123.79500. The town is stretched out in a small forested valley bisected by U.S. Route 101, at an elevation of 535 feet (163 m). The nearby King's Peak rises to 4,087 feet (1,246 m).
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Whitethorn CA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Certification. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Whitethorn CA.
More Medical Locations in California