How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Chase Kansas
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Chase KS, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Chase KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals 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:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Chase KS health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Chase KS area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online courses 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 an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Chase KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Chase KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Chase KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Chase KS area medical providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Chase medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task 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 Chase 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chase KS, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Chase Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Chase KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Chase is a city in Rice County, Kansas, United States. It is approximately seventy-three miles northwest of Wichita. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 477. Chase was founded in 1880.
For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1867, Rice County was founded.
In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion County and McPherson County chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company. In 1879, a branch line was built from Florence to McPherson, in 1880 it was extended to Lyons, in 1881 it was extended to Ellinwood. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, was abandoned in 1968. In 1992, the line from Marion to McPherson was sold to Central Kansas Railway. In 1993, after heavy flood damage, the line from Marion to McPherson was abandoned. The original branch line connected Florence, Marion, Canada, Hillsboro, Lehigh, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Conway, Windom, Little River, Mitchell, Lyons, Chase, Ellinwood.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Chase KS
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Duties. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Chase KS.
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