How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Augusta Kentucky
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Augusta KY, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest 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 issues as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Augusta KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Training Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Augusta 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 generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate 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 healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Augusta KY area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Augusta KY medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Augusta KY with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when evaluating schools. 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 final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. First, 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 must enroll in 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Augusta KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate 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 elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Augusta KY area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Augusta healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Augusta KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Augusta KY, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, 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 Augusta Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Augusta KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Augusta is a home rule-class city in Bracken County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is sited upon the southern bank of the Ohio River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,190. When Bracken County was organized in 1796, Augusta was the county seat. In 1839, a new county courthouse was built at a more central location in Brooksville. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1850.
Augusta is located in northeastern Kentucky at 38°46′21″N 84°0′6″W / 38.77250°N 84.00167°W / 38.77250; -84.00167 (38.772556, -84.001530).Kentucky Route 8 (Fifth Street) is the main road through the city. Route 8 leads northwest 42 miles (68 km) to downtown Cincinnati and southeast 19 miles (31 km) to Maysville. The Augusta Ferry crosses the Ohio River into Lewis Township, Brown County, Ohio, near Higginsport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Augusta has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 16.6%, is water.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Augusta KY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick 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 Education Needed. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Augusta KY.
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