How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Florence Kentucky
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Florence KY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about 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 schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools 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 Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Florence KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals 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 verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Training Courses
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Florence KY health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually 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 Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Florence KY area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Florence KY medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Florence 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 researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Florence KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. 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 planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 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 approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Florence KY area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Florence health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Florence KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Florence KY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Florence Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Florence KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The Florence area was originally known as Crossroads, because of the convergence of several roads from Burlington and Union at Ridge Road (now U.S. 25). By 1821, the area was known as Maddentown for Thomas Madden, a Covington attorney who owned a farm on the Burlington Pike. When Madden moved away, the area became known as Connersville in 1828 for Jacob Conner, a settler who assumed responsibility for the growing town. The town was finally renamed Florence because there was another Connersville in Harrison County. The name presumably is for Florence, Italy, but the specific etymology is unclear. It was incorporated on January 27, 1830, and grew quickly after the completion of the Covington-Lexington Turnpike in 1836.
Florence is located in eastern Boone County at 38°59′36″N 84°38′33″W / 38.99333°N 84.64250°W / 38.99333; -84.64250 (38.993225, -84.642602). U.S. Routes 25, 42, and 127 pass through the center of Florence, leading northeast in a concurrency 11 miles (18 km) to downtown Cincinnati. Interstates 75 and 71 pass through the western part of Florence, with access from exits 178 through 182.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.3 square miles (26.8 km2), of which 10.3 square miles (26.7 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.43%, is water.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Florence KY
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Florence KY.
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