How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near El Dorado Kansas
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near El Dorado KS, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the El Dorado KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. 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 professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Kansas law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available 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
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of El Dorado KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element 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 Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in El Dorado KS area healthcare 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 may be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential El Dorado KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those choices 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 confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to El Dorado KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, 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 Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain 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 intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective El Dorado KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with El Dorado KS area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the El Dorado medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the El Dorado KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near El Dorado KS, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near El Dorado Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the El Dorado KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
El Dorado, Kansas
El Dorado (/ˌɛldəˈreɪdoʊ/ ()EL-də-RAY-doh) is city and county seat of Butler County, Kansas, United States. It is situated along the Walnut River in the central part of Butler County and located in south-central Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,021.
In 1877, the Florence, El Dorado, and Walnut Valley Railroad Company built a branch line from Florence to El Dorado; in 1881 it was extended to Douglass, and later to Arkansas City. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to El Dorado was abandoned in 1942. The original branch line connected Florence, Burns, De Graff, El Dorado, Augusta, Douglass, Rock, Akron, Winfield, and Arkansas City.
In 1915, the El Dorado Oil Field was the first oil field that was found using science/geologic mapping, and part of the Mid-Continent oil province. By 1918, the El Dorado Oil Field was the largest single field producer in the USA, and was responsible for 12.8% of national oil production and 9% of the world production. It was deemed by some as "the oil field that won World War I".
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training El Dorado KS
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant Exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in El Dorado KS.
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