How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Aurora Illinois
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Aurora IL, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Aurora IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Illinois law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered 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
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Aurora IL 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 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Aurora IL area healthcare 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 might be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Aurora IL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Aurora IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Aurora IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools 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 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 one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Aurora IL area medical providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Aurora health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Aurora IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms 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 jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aurora IL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Aurora Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Aurora IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, is a city predominantly in Kane County and DuPage County, with portions extending into Kendall and Will counties. It is in the outer region of Chicago metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second most populous city in the state, and the 114th most populous city in the country. The population was 197,899 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to have increased to 199,963 by July 2013.
Once a mid-sized manufacturing city, Aurora has grown tremendously since the 1960s. Founded within Kane County, Aurora's city limits and population have expanded into DuPage, Will, and Kendall counties. Between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Aurora as the 34th fastest-growing city in the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the city as the 46th fastest growing city with a population of over 100,000.
In 1908, Aurora adopted the nickname "City of Lights", because in 1881 it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system. Aurora's historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island. The city is divided into three regions, the West Side, on the west side of the Fox River, the East Side, between the eastern bank of the Fox River and the Kane/DuPage County line, and the Far East Side/Fox Valley, which is from the County Line to the city's eastern border with Naperville.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Aurora 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 goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Become A Certified Medical Assistant Fast. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Aurora IL.
More Medical Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 343