How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Syracuse Kansas
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Syracuse KS, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Syracuse KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Kansas law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available 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
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Syracuse KS health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational 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 often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Syracuse KS area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Syracuse KS medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Syracuse 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 should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Syracuse KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask 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. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring 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 closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Syracuse KS area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Syracuse healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Syracuse KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Syracuse KS, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Syracuse Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Syracuse KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Syracuse is located at 37°58′59″N 101°45′04″W / 37.982938°N 101.751224°W / 37.982938; -101.751224 (37.982938, -101.751224), along U.S. Route 50 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, sixteen miles (twenty-six kilometers) from the Colorado border. The Arkansas River runs just south of the City of Syracuse. The countryside south of the Arkansas River is marked by sandhills. Located within these sandhills is the "Syracuse Sand Dunes," a city park covering 1,300 acres (5.3 km2), including a 40-acre (160,000 m2) fishing pond.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,812 people, 715 households, and 460 families residing in the city. The population density was 442.0 inhabitants per square mile (170.7/km2). There were 832 housing units at an average density of 202.9 per square mile (78.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.7% White, 0.2% African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 19.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.7% of the population.
There were 715 households of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.23.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Syracuse KS
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Classes. But irrespective of the type 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Syracuse KS.
More Medical Locations in Kansas