How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Baldwin City Kansas
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Baldwin City KS, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Baldwin City KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions 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 practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Baldwin City KS 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 quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Baldwin City KS area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Baldwin City KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. 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 sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide 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 discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Baldwin City KS 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 explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Baldwin City KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Baldwin City KS area medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Baldwin City healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Baldwin City KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience 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 college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Baldwin City KS, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Baldwin City Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Baldwin City KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Baldwin City, Kansas
Baldwin City is a city in Douglas County, Kansas, United States about 12 miles (19 km) south of Lawrence and 15 miles (24 km) west of Gardner. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,515. The city is home to Baker University, the state's oldest four-year university.
Baldwin City began as a trail stop on the Santa Fe Trail named Palmyra. The small town consisted of a harness shop, blacksmith, hotel, lawyer, drug store, two doctors and a tavern. In 1858, a group of Methodist ministers gathered at Kibbee Cabin and founded Baker University. Palmyra bought land to the south for the university and surrounding city. The first post office was established in June, 1857.
A main benefactor of the community was John Baldwin and the town was named in his honor. Baldwin built a saw mill which was at present-day Fifth and Indiana Streets. Baldwin City was incorporated on September 22, 1870.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Baldwin City KS
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, 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 Schools With Financial Aid. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Baldwin City KS.
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