Becoming A Medical Assistant Riley KS

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Riley Kansas

Riley KS medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Riley KS, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Riley KS nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Riley KS hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Courses

In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Riley KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Riley KSThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Riley KS area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online courses 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 mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Riley KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Riley KS medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Riley KS with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Riley KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Riley KS area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Riley health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Riley KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness 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 to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Riley KS, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Riley Kansas?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Riley KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Fort Riley

Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 101,733 acres (41,170 ha) in Geary and Riley counties.[1] The portion of the fort that contains housing development is part of the Fort Riley census-designated place, with a residential population of 7,761 as of the 2010 census.[2] The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000. The ZIP Code is 66442.

Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennet C. Riley, who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails. In the years after the Civil War, Fort Riley served as a major United States Cavalry post and school for cavalry tactics and practice. The post was a base for skirmishes with Native Americans after the Civil War ended in 1865, during which time George A. Custer was stationed at the fort.

In 1887, Fort Riley became the site of the United States Cavalry School. The famous all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, the soldiers of which were called "Buffalo Soldiers", were stationed at Fort Riley at various times in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During World War I, the fort was home to 50,000 soldiers, and it is sometimes identified as ground zero for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which its soldiers were said to have spread all over the world. Since the end of World War II, various infantry divisions have been assigned there. Most notably, from 1955 to 1996 the post was home to the famed 1st Infantry Division, also called "Big Red One". Between 1999–2006, the post was headquarters to the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and known as "America's Warfighting Center". In August 2006, the Big Red One relocated its headquarters to Fort Riley from Leighton Barracks, Germany.

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Riley KS

Riley KS medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose 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 Becoming A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Riley KS.

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