How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Sedgwick Kansas
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sedgwick KS, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Sedgwick KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Kansas law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 Courses
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Sedgwick KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting 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 often be completed in Sedgwick KS area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Sedgwick KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Sedgwick KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Sedgwick KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Sedgwick KS area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Sedgwick healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Sedgwick KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching environment 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 full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sedgwick KS, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sedgwick Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sedgwick KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Sedgwick County, Kansas
Sedgwick County (county code: SG) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 498,365, making it the second-most populous county in Kansas. The county seat is Wichita, the most populous city in the state.
For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles.
In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre. In 1848, after the Mexican–American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Spain brought into the United States all or part of land for ten future states, including southwest Kansas. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Sedgwick KS
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate 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 need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm 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 Accredited Medical Assistant Programs Online. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Sedgwick KS.
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