How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Burlington Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Burlington KY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Burlington KY hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can 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. Some of the many functions 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 rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Burlington KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Burlington KY area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Burlington KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps 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 have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind 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 begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Burlington KY with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee 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 approved 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Burlington KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Burlington KY area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Burlington healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Burlington KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college 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 school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Burlington KY, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Burlington Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Burlington KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Burlington is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Boone County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 15,926 at the 2010 census. Despite its size and status as county seat, Burlington remains unincorporated.
Burlington is located in north-central Boone County. Kentucky Route 18 (Burlington Pike) runs through the center of the CDP, leading east 6 miles (10 km) to Florence and west 7 miles (11 km) to the Ohio River at Belleview. Downtown Cincinnati is 16 miles (26 km) to the northeast, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is directly to the northeast of Burlington.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,779 people, 3,799 households, and 2,887 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,276.0 people per square mile (492.5/km²). There were 4,083 housing units at an average density of 483.4 per square mile (186.6/km²). The racial makeup of Burlington in 2006 was 93.9% White, 1.89% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.73% of the population.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Burlington KY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example 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 Years Of School. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Burlington KY.
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