How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Cumberland Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cumberland KY, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Cumberland KY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities 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 possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options 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
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Cumberland KY health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals 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 available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Cumberland KY area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Cumberland KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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 sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Cumberland KY with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the program you choose 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 must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cumberland KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Cumberland KY area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Cumberland medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Cumberland KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction 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 possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cumberland KY, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cumberland Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cumberland KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private, religious college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, with an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students. The school, known as Cumberland College until January 7, 2005, is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Kentucky affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.
University of the Cumberlands, first called Williamsburg Institute, was founded on January 7, 1889. At the 1887 annual meeting of the Mount Zion Association, representatives from 18 eastern Kentucky Baptist churches discussed plans to provide higher education in the Kentucky mountains. The college was incorporated by the Kentucky state legislature on April 6, 1888. In 1907 the school bought the three buildings of Highland College, and in 1913, Williamsburg Institute's name was changed to Cumberland College. The name reflected the institution's location along the Cumberland River and its proximity to Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Gap. From its inception, the institution has been affiliated with the Baptist Church, and its mission has been to educate and prepare leaders for service to the greater community. On the basis of being controlled by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and being bound by its policies, the university has requested and received exemptions from Title IX in the areas of "admissions, recruitment, education programs or activities, and employment", allowing it to discriminate in those fields based on its views regarding "marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and abortion."
Although founded as a senior college, in 1918 Cumberland College officially became a junior college. The college received its first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1931. In 1956 the Board of Trustees began bringing the college back to senior college status. The junior year was added in 1959-60 and the senior year in 1960-61. SACS granted initial accreditation to the institution as a senior college in December 1964. Since then, SACS has reaffirmed the college's accreditation in 1974, 1985, 1995, and 2006. It is next scheduled for reaffirmation in 2016.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant College Cumberland KY
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cumberland KY.
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