How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Burbank Illinois
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Burbank IL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Burbank IL hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Education
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Burbank IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest 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 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 junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Burbank IL area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Burbank IL medical employers just will not employ 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) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Burbank IL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Burbank IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Burbank IL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Burbank healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Burbank IL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large 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 during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Burbank IL, make certain that those times are available. You may 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 will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Burbank Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Burbank IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Burbank is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 28,925 at the 2010 census. It is located at the southwest edge of the city of Chicago; the Chicago city limit – specifically that of the Ashburn neighborhood – is in common with Burbank's eastern city limit. Burbank shares a boundary with Oak Lawn to its south, Bridgeview to its west, and Bedford Park to its north; the city of Hometown is also adjacent to Burbank's southeast corner. Burbank is less than two miles south of Chicago Midway International Airport.
In 1850, the area which would become the city of Burbank, then largely uninhabited and agrarian, became part of Lyons Township. Over the next hundred years the area remained largely undeveloped, though several times large plans were laid out for the area, never to come to fruition. In the late 19th century a railroad investor named A. B. Stickney planned a large railroad transfer center which included what became the northern part of Burbank, but his ideas were never realized due to an economic depression in 1893.
In the 1920s, the area became an attractive site for real-estate developers who bought up farmland and built subdivisions. However, ongoing drainage problems, practically nonexistent water and sewage systems and the Great Depression kept Burbank largely unbuilt and empty until the 1950s.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Burbank IL
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on 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 How Long Is Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Burbank IL.
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