How Long To Become A Medical Assistant Essex CT

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Essex Connecticut

Essex CT medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Essex CT, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Essex CT nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Essex CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties 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 instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education

Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Essex CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way 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 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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.

Medical Assistant Online Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Essex CTThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Essex CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Essex CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Essex CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Essex CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few 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 several great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Essex CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools 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 considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Essex CT area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Essex healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Essex CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Essex CT, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, 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 Essex Connecticut?

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

Essex, Connecticut

Essex is one of the few American towns to ever be attacked by a foreign power; this occurred on April 8, 1814, and the economic losses were among the largest sustained by the United States during the War of 1812. 28 vessels, with a total value estimated to be close to $200,000 (at a time when a very large two story home in Essex, then known as Potapoug Point, would have been worth no more than $1,000), were destroyed by the British.[1] One historian has called it the "Pearl Harbor" of that war.[2]

On that date, approximately 136 British marines and sailors under the command of Richard Coote[1][3] (or Coot[2]) rowed 6 boats from four British warships (the Hogue, Endymion, Maidstone and Borer) anchored in Long Island Sound, 6 miles up the Connecticut River, past the unmanned fort in Old Saybrook, arriving at the boat launch at the foot of Main Street in Essex close to 4 A.M. The boats were armed with swivel guns loaded with grapeshot, the officers armed with swords and pistols, the marines with "Brown Bess" muskets, and the sailors with torches and axes; they responded to the single cannon fired by the town's surprised defenders with a massive volley, neither side incurring any casualties. They quickly commandeered the town, eliciting a promise of no resistance from the Essex militia in return for promising not to harm the townspeople or burn their homes, while a messenger rode to Fort Trumbull in New London for help. A dubious local myth states that Coote did not burn the town as a favor to a local merchant who greeted him with a secret Masonic handshake.[2]

The British marched to the Bushnell Tavern (now the Griswold Inn), then seized the town's stores of rope (each ship of that time requiring 8 miles of rope) and, according to the April 19, 1814 Hartford Courant, "$100,000 or upwards" worth of rum (acquired from the East Indies in trade for beef and wood from Connecticut).[2]

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program Essex CT

Essex CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, 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 How Long To Become A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be 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 subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Essex CT.

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