How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Atchison Kansas
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Atchison KS, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean 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 as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Atchison KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential 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 tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Kansas law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Atchison KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Atchison KS area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Atchison KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Atchison KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Atchison KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
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. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’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 essentially two routes to getting 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, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Atchison KS area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Atchison health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Atchison KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atchison KS, make sure 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 clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, 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 Atchison Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Atchison KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Atchison is a city and county seat of Atchison County, Kansas, United States, and situated along the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,021. The city is named in honor of David Rice Atchison, United States senator from Missouri, and was the original eastern terminus of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Atchison was the birthplace of aviator Amelia Earhart, and the Amelia Earhart Festival is held annually in July. Atchison is also home of Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal-arts college.
Atchison was founded in 1854 and named in honor of Missouri senator David Rice Atchison, who, when Kansas was opened for settlement, interested some of his friends in the scheme of forming a city in the new territory. Senator Atchison was interested in ensuring that the population of the new Kansas Territory would be majority pro-slavery, as he had been a prominent promoter of both slavery and the idea of popular sovereignty over the issue in the new lands. However, it seems that all were not agreed upon the location he had selected, and on July 20, 1854, Dr. John H. Stringfellow, Ira Norris, Leonidas Oldham, James B. Martin and Neal Owens left Platte City, Missouri, to decide definitely upon a site. They found a site that was the natural outlet of a remarkably rich agricultural region just open to settlement. George M. Million and Samuel Dickson had staked claims near the river; Dr. Stringfellow staked a tract north of Million's. Million sold his claim for $1,000—an exorbitant price. Eighteen persons were present when the town company was formally organized by electing Peter T. Abell, president; James Burns, treasurer; and Dr. Stringfellow, secretary. The site was divided into 100 shares by the company, of which each member retained five shares, the remainder being reserved for common benefit of all. By September 20, 1854, Henry Kuhn had surveyed the 480 acres (1.9 km²) and made a plat, and the next day was fixed for the sale of lots, an event of great importance as it had become understood that Senator Atchison would make a speech upon the political question of the day, hence the sale would be of political as well as business significance. At his meeting on the 21st, two public institutions of vital interest to a new community were planned for—a hotel and a newspaper. Each share of stock in the town company was assessed $25, the proceeds to be used to build the National Hotel, which was completed in the spring of 1855, and $400 was donated to Dr. Stringfellow and Robert S. Kelley to erect a printing office.
The Squatter Sovereign, a paper with strong pro-slavery sentiments, was first issued on February 3, 1855. It had formerly been published at Liberty, Missouri, under the name of the Democratic Platform. In the spring of 1857 it was purchased by Samuel C. Pomeroy, Robert McBratney and F.G. Adams, who changed its policy and published it as a free-state paper until the fall of the same year, when Pomeroy became the sole owner.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Atchison KS
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 Medical Assistant Degree Programs. But regardless of the kind 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Atchison KS.
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