How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Great Bend Kansas
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Great Bend KS, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might want to take a look at a few 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 carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each 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 kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Great Bend KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Programs
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Great Bend KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Great Bend KS area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Great Bend KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Great Bend KS with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee 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 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, 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, a number of prospective Great Bend KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Great Bend KS area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Great Bend health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Great Bend KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Great Bend KS, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Great Bend Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Great Bend KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Great Bend, Kansas
Great Bend is a city in and the county seat of Barton County, Kansas, United States. It is named for its location at the point where the course of the Arkansas River bends east then southeast. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 15,995.
Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Great Bend was located in the northern reaches of Kiowa territory. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it lay within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. Kansas became a state in 1861, and the state government delineated the surrounding area as Barton County in 1867.
The first settlers of the area arrived in 1870. Living in sod houses and dugouts, they worked as buffalo hunters since trampling by bison herds precluded crop farming. In 1871, the Great Bend Town Company, anticipating the westward construction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, founded Great Bend at a site roughly three miles west of Fort Zarah on the Santa Fe Trail. They named the settlement after its location at the "great bend" in the Arkansas River where the river’s course turns eastward. The town began to grow as more settlers arrived over the following year and opened several businesses.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Great Bend KS
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Medical Assistant Do. But irrespective 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Great Bend KS.
More Medical Locations in Kansas