How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Garden City Kansas
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Garden City KS, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Garden City KS clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Courses
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Garden City 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 essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Garden City KS area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Garden City KS medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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 take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Garden City KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Garden City KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Garden City KS area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Garden City health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Garden City KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get 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 practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Garden City KS, make certain 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 clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Garden City Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Garden City KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Garden City, Kansas
Garden City is a city in and the county seat of Finney County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,658. The city is home to Garden City Community College and the Lee Richardson Zoo, the largest zoological park in western Kansas.
The original townsite was laid out on the south half of section 18 by engineer Charles Van Trump. The land was a loose, sandy loam and covered with sagebrush and soap weeds, but there were no trees. Main Street ran directly north and south, dividing William D. and James R. Fulton's claims. As soon as they could get building material, they erected two frame houses. William D. Fulton building on his land, on the east side of Main Street, a house one story and a half high, with two rooms on the ground and two rooms above. This was called the Occidental Hotel. William D. Fulton was proprietor. No other houses were built in Garden City until November 1878, when James R. Fulton and L.T. Walker each put up a building. The Fultons tried to get others to settle here, but only a few came, and at the end of the first year there were only four buildings.
Charles Jesse Jones, later known as "Buffalo" Jones, arrived in Garden City for an antelope hunt in January 1879. Before Jones returned home, the Fulton brothers procured his services to promote Garden City, and especially in trying to influence the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad to put in a switch station. The railroad agreed to place its station at Garden City. In the spring of 1879, more people began arriving to homestead in the area. During the years of 1885-1887, a rush was made for Western Kansas, and a settler arrived for every quarter section. The United States Land Office also located at Garden City, and people went there to make filings on their land. Lawyers also arrived in Garden City. I.R. Holmes, the agent for the sale of lands of the ATSF, and Holmes' partner, A.C. McKeever, in 1885 sold thousands of acres of railroad and private land.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant School Garden City KS
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 Certified Medical Assistant Classes. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Garden City KS.
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