How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Erie Kansas
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Erie KS, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Erie KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kansas law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Training Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Erie KS health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Erie KS area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve 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 an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Erie KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, 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 beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Erie KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To start 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 need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Erie KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest 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 get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Erie KS area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Erie health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Erie KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical 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 can be an indicator of how much individual 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 one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Erie KS, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Erie Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Erie KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Erie is a city in and the county seat of Neosho County, Kansas, United States, and situated in the valley of the Neosho River, about a mile Northeast of the river. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,150.
A settlement named "Erie", later referred to as "Old Erie" and "Beantown USA", was platted 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of the present townsite, while another community, known as Crawfordsville, was started two miles northeast of the current site. In 1866, the proprietors of these two towns made a compromise to abandon the towns and combine with the settlement at the present Erie site. Four men gave 40 acres each, that butted together, out of their 160-acre shares, to create the city plat of Erie. These men were: David W. Bray, Luther Puckett, John F. Himmelwright and Peter Walter. In November of that year the Erie Town Company was formed. Each member of this company donated forty acres of land in the center of Section 32, Township 28, Range 20 east. Each member was to buy city plots and improve them.
Erie's first fire company was established in November 1866; its charter members were those men who had donated the land on which the community was built. The first log home in Erie was built in 1866, while the first businesses were built in the following year. By 1883, the city had two general stores, two blacksmith shops, one drug store, two hotels, one newspaper office, two churches, and a population of about 300.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Erie KS
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Colleges. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Erie KS.
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