How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Montezuma Kansas
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Montezuma KS, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate 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 critical factors also. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Montezuma KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 tasked with 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 many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Montezuma KS health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Montezuma KS area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Montezuma KS medical employers just will not hire 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 apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Montezuma KS with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when assessing schools. To help 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 choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Montezuma KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Montezuma KS area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Montezuma health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Montezuma 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 healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers 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 offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting 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 college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Montezuma KS, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Montezuma Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Montezuma KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Montezuma is located at 37°35′43″N 100°26′32″W / 37.595353°N 100.442205°W / 37.595353; -100.442205 (37.595353, -100.442205). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.76 square miles (1.97 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 966 people, 366 households, and 249 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,271.1 inhabitants per square mile (490.8/km2). There were 390 housing units at an average density of 513.2 per square mile (198.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 0.1% African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.5% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.0% of the population.
There were 366 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.0% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.14.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School Montezuma KS
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Where Can I Get My Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Montezuma KS.
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