How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Stockton Kansas
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stockton KS, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important factors also. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Stockton KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size 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 practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kansas law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Stockton KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two 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 classes. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Stockton KS area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain 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 individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Stockton KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably 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, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 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.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have 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 selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Stockton KS with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when evaluating schools. 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 selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Stockton KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Stockton KS area medical providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Stockton medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stockton KS area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stockton KS, make sure that those times are available. You may 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 will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stockton Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stockton KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stockton was founded in 1872. A large share of the first settlers were cattle dealers, or stockmen, and they named their new home Stocktown, or as it soon became Stockton. Stockton was incorporated as a city in 1879.
Stockton is located on the natural trail up the valley of the South Solomon River and where the military supply trail from Fort Kearney, Nebraska, to Fort Hays, Kansas, crossed the South Solomon River. Stockton survived & grew during the thirteen years from founding until the arrival of the railroad in 1885.
Stockton is located at 39°26′11″N 99°16′18″W / 39.43639°N 99.27167°W / 39.43639; -99.27167 (39.436328, -99.271641). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.23 square miles (5.78 km2), all of it land.
Select the Best Medical Assistant College Stockton KS
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Is A Certified Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Stockton KS.
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