How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Osborne Kansas
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Osborne KS, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Osborne KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Kansas law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Osborne KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options provided 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 six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Osborne KS area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Osborne KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps 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 examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Osborne KS with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Osborne KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Osborne KS area medical providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Osborne healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that first job can 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 Osborne KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Osborne KS, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Osborne Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Osborne KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Settlers from southeastern Pennsylvania founded Osborne City in May 1871. They named the settlement after Vincent B. Osborne, a Union Army veteran of the American Civil War, after whom Osborne County also is named. Osborne City became the permanent county seat in November 1872. A district judge officially proclaimed it a city in May 1873, but the townspeople failed to legally organize a government. Five years later, a second attempt was successful, and the settlement incorporated as a city in 1878. "City" was dropped from its name by the mid-1890s.
Osborne is located at 39°26′26″N 98°41′50″W / 39.44056°N 98.69722°W / 39.44056; -98.69722 (39.440651, -98.697118), at an elevation of 1,552 feet (473 m). Located at the intersection of U.S. Route 281 and U.S. Route 24 in north-central Kansas, it is approximately 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Wichita, 219 miles (352 km) west-northwest of Kansas City, and 339 miles (546 km) east of Denver.
Osborne lies on the north side of the South Fork Solomon River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. The Osborne Canal, part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Webster Unit Project, runs east along the northern edge of the city.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Osborne KS
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant. 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Osborne KS.
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