How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Bennington Kansas
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bennington KS, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start 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 Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Bennington KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers 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 assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Kansas law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Bennington KS health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Bennington KS area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Bennington KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bennington KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Bennington KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Bennington KS area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Bennington health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Bennington KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bennington KS, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bennington Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bennington KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bennington was platted in 1878 and grew to a population of over 200 within three years. The city name comes from one of two sources. A paper written on the history of Bennington states that Bennington is an Indian name meaning "place of fine trees." The same article also states that co-city founder George R. Parker gave the town its name after Bennington, Vermont. The Solomon Valley Railroad, a branch of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, reached Bennington in 1878.
In 1879, the first school was located one half mile south of town. In 1918, a new school house was built. In 1938, an auditorium was added; in 1955 a shop was added; and in 1961 a new grade school building was annexed.
Bennington is located at 39°1′59″N 97°35′35″W / 39.03306°N 97.59306°W / 39.03306; -97.59306 (39.033174, -97.593030). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.42 square miles (1.09 km2), all of it land.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Bennington KS
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate 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 must get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Overview. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Bennington KS.
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