How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Junction City Kansas
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Junction City KS, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Junction City KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may 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 practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing 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 may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Kansas law, some prefer 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Junction City KS health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade 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 clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Junction City KS area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Junction City KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Junction City KS with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Junction City KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Junction City KS area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Junction City medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Junction City KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important 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 Junction City KS, make certain that those times are offered. You might 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 will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Junction City Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Junction City KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Junction City, Kansas
In 1854, Andrew J. Mead of New York of the Cincinnati-Manhattan Company, Free Staters connected to the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company planned a community there called Manhattan (there was also a discussion to call it New Cincinnati). When the steamship Hartford delivering the immigrants could not reach the community because of low water on the Kansas River, the Free Staters settled 20 miles east in what today is Manhattan, Kansas. The community was renamed Millard City for Captain Millard of the Hartford on October 3, 1855. It was renamed briefly Humboldt in 1857 by local farmers and renamed again later that year to Junction City. It was formally incorporated in 1859.
In 1923, John R. Brinkley established Radio Station KFKB (which stood for ‘’Kansas First, Kansas Best’’) using a 1 kW transmitter. It is one of the first—if not the very first—radio stations in Kansas. Brinkley used the station to espouse his belief that goat testicles could be implanted in men to enhance their virility.
Among Junction City's residents is film director Kevin Wilmott, whose movies, including Ninth Street, are set in Junction City. Ninth Street specifically refers to a bawdy area of the community that was frequented by Fort Riley soldiers in the 1960s. In the 1980s a major initiative was undertaken to clean up the Ninth St. area.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Junction City KS
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide 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 life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Night Classes. But irrespective of the kind 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Junction City KS.
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