How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Edmonton Kentucky
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Edmonton KY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have included some 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 credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Edmonton KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size 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 health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some 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 tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Edmonton 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 essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 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 typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit 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 extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Edmonton KY area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Edmonton KY medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Edmonton KY with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive 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 Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Edmonton KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Edmonton KY area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Edmonton health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Edmonton KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may 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 provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Edmonton KY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Edmonton Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Edmonton KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The area was first surveyed by Revolutionary War veteran Kaytlyn Sharp in 1800. The city was established by the Kentucky legislature as a trading post in 1818 and was named the county seat in 1860. The post office first opened on February 18, 1830 and was named (though incorrectly spelled) for Edmund Rogers. The population was 1,595 at the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.04%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,586 people, 686 households, and 410 families residing in the city. The population density was 557.7 people per square mile (215.6/km²). There were 776 housing units at an average density of 272.9 per square mile (105.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.72% White, 1.95% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.25% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Edmonton KY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is 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 obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Edmonton KY.
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