How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Bellevue Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bellevue KY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin 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, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting 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 Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Bellevue KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions 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 facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Bellevue KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Bellevue KY area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Bellevue KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bellevue KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Bellevue KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design 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 to take. 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 school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever 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 Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Bellevue KY area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Bellevue health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Bellevue KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bellevue KY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bellevue Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bellevue KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Before Bellevue was founded, the area was used for hunting, fishing, and warfare by Native Americans tribes such as the Illini, Miami, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Tuscarora. In 1745, a three-day battle occurred in Bellevue among the Shawnee, Miami, and Cherokee Indians, resulting in many deaths.
Bellevue was named for the plantation of Gen. James Taylor Jr., Quartermaster General of the western U.S. Army in the War of 1812. The City was once the eastern part of his plantation. The name Bellevue was taken from the General's family plantation in Virginia. Bellevue, or "belle vue," translates from French to mean "beautiful view." James Taylor Jr. was the fifth child born to James Taylor Sr. and his wife, Anne Hubbard Taylor, in 'Midway', Caroline County, Virginia. His father bought 2,700 acres (11 km2) of land in Northern Kentucky from his friend George Muse, part of which Muse had been awarded for his military service in the French and Indian War. James Taylor Jr. was one of the wealthiest men in the state of Kentucky. In 1848, his estate was valued at more than $4 million. Today, his home stands in the East Row local Historic District in the adjoining City of Newport, Kentucky. East Row is the second-largest local district in Kentucky, and the Taylor Mansion is the district's oldest house.
By the 1890s, Bellevue was bustling. Balke's Opera House at Berry and Fairfield Avenues served as the town hall and firehouse. A city directory listed 15 grocery stores, four bakeries, six boot makers, seven confectioneries, two livery stables, a blacksmith, three millinaries, six doctors, seven saloons, and a wagon manufacturer.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Bellevue KY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Duties. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bellevue KY.
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