Registered Medical Assistant Certification Alexandria KY

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Alexandria Kentucky

Alexandria KY medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Alexandria KY, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Alexandria KY nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Alexandria KY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers 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 facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance 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 possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Alexandria KY health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics 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 as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Alexandria KYThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Alexandria KY area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Alexandria KY medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Alexandria KY medical assistant programsBefore you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Alexandria KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Alexandria KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically 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, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Alexandria KY area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Alexandria health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Alexandria KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can 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 likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alexandria KY, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Alexandria Kentucky?

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

Alexandria, Kentucky

Alexandria is a home rule-class city[2] in Campbell County, Kentucky, in the United States. Along with Newport, it is one of the dual seats of the county.[3] The population was 8,477 at the 2010 census.[4]

It is believed that the area that is now Alexandria was first settled by Frank Spilman and his family c. 1793.[5] The Spilman family was from King George County, Virginia, and they may have named their settlement after Alexandria, Virginia.[5] The family had begun developing and selling lots in the settlement by 1819,[5] the year the first post office was established. On February 22, 1834, Alexandria was formally established by an act of the state assembly.[6]

When the Kentucky General Assembly formed Kenton County from part of Campbell County in 1840, they moved Campbell's county seat from Newport to Alexandria, which was closer to the center of the redrawn county.[5] The citizens of Alexandria quickly constructed a county courthouse but, because the majority of the county's population lived in Newport, the move was not a popular one and it took a court order and a visit from the sheriff to get the county clerk to move.[7]

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Alexandria KY

Alexandria KY medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 Registered Medical Assistant Certification. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Alexandria KY.

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