How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Augusta Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Augusta IL, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Augusta IL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions 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 facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a particular 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 Education
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Augusta IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work 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, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Augusta IL area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Augusta IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Augusta IL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Augusta IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Augusta IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Augusta medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Augusta IL 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 medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can 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 furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Augusta IL, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will 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 Augusta Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Augusta IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Augusta is located in southeastern Hancock County at 40°13′51″N 90°57′3″W / 40.23083°N 90.95083°W / 40.23083; -90.95083 (40.230946, -90.950741).Illinois Route 61 passes through the village, leaving to the west as Main Street and to the north as Center Street; Bowen is 6 miles (10 km) to the west, and Plymouth is 5 miles (8 km) to the north. Augusta's Main Street continues east from the center of town as Illinois Route 101, leading 3 miles (5 km) to Weinberg-King State Park and 15 miles (24 km) to Littleton.
On September 18, 1858, soon-to-be President Abraham Lincoln visited Augusta, where he gave a speech and stayed at the home of Elder James Stark. Previously, Lincoln's opponent in the historic Lincoln–Douglas debates, Stephen A. Douglas, had spoken in Augusta. In 1864, Congressman James Garfield (the future president) spoke in Augusta on behalf of Lincoln. Other notable visitors include William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt in the fall of 1900. Only Roosevelt gave a short speech on his trip through Augusta during the campaign.
As of the census of 2000, there were 657 people, 296 households, and 179 families residing in the village. The population density was 921.1 people per square mile (357.3/km²). There were 330 housing units at an average density of 462.7 per square mile (179.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.70% White, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.76% of the population.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Training Augusta IL
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Good Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget 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 fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Augusta IL.
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