How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Bolingbrook Illinois
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bolingbrook IL, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Bolingbrook IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. 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 giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Illinois law, some prefer 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Bolingbrook IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Bolingbrook IL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Bolingbrook IL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bolingbrook IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you select 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Bolingbrook IL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Bolingbrook IL area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Bolingbrook medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Bolingbrook IL 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 an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bolingbrook IL, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bolingbrook Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bolingbrook IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The village of Bolingbrook is a southwest suburb of Chicago that is partially in both Will and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2017 US Census, the population is 75,201. It is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and the state's 2nd largest village.
According to the 2010 census Bolingbrook has a total area of 24.257 square miles (62.83 km2), of which 24.05 square miles (62.29 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
Interstate 55, locally the Stevenson Expressway, runs through the southern part of the village heading northeast toward Chicago and southwest toward Plainfield and Joliet. Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway (formerly the North-South Tollway), runs along the far east side of the village between New Lenox and Addison. Illinois Route 53, locally known as Bolingbrook Drive, runs north–south through the middle of the village.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Bolingbrook IL
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Schools Near Me. But regardless of the kind 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Bolingbrook IL.
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