How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Stilwell Kansas
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stilwell KS, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start 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 Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their duty is ensure that the Stilwell KS hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Stilwell KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element involving 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 Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Stilwell KS area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Stilwell KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from 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, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Stilwell KS with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee 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 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, 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, a number of prospective Stilwell KS employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Stilwell KS area health care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Stilwell healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Stilwell KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program 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 on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Stilwell KS, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stilwell Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stilwell KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stilwell was named for the owner of the Missouri Pacific. Many communities south of Kansas City along the route to the Gulf Coast bear his namesake in some form as does the former headquarters at 104 South 9th street in downtown Kansas City, MO.
Stilwell is mostly agricultural land, largely sod farms, but in recent years has spawned suburban neighborhoods. The Aubry Township Board stated[when?] that by 2010, most of Stilwell would be urban. Stilwell has affordable land and some farms are abandoned; however the large population growth of Overland Park, Kansas increased the demand for new neighborhoods, raising the land value in some areas.
Stilwell is located at 38°46′09″N 94°39′23″W / 38.76917°N 94.65639°W / 38.76917; -94.65639Coordinates: 38°46′09″N 94°39′23″W / 38.76917°N 94.65639°W / 38.76917; -94.65639.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Stilwell KS
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Online. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Stilwell KS.
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