How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near North Newton Kansas
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near North Newton KS, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the North Newton KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size 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 nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Kansas law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many North Newton KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in North Newton 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 education may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible North Newton KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained 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). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to North Newton KS with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective North Newton KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must 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 instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with North Newton KS area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the North Newton health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the North Newton KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical 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 individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to see 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 program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near North Newton KS, make sure 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 clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near North Newton Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the North Newton KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
North Newton, Kansas
North Newton is a city in Harvey County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,759. The city of Newton is located immediately south, existing as a separate political entity. North Newton is home of Bethel College.
For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1872, Harvey County was founded.
North Newton is located at 38°4′26″N 97°20′47″W / 38.07389°N 97.34639°W / 38.07389; -97.34639 (38.073865, -97.346355) and immediately north of Newton. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.90 square miles (2.33 km2), all of it land.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Program North Newton KS
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is 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 acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing 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 choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 Training. 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in North Newton KS.
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