How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Georgetown Kentucky
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Georgetown KY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues 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 must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Georgetown KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a specific 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 Education
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Georgetown KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might 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 working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Georgetown KY area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the best option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Georgetown KY medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Georgetown KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are a few 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 a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Georgetown KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Georgetown KY area medical providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Georgetown healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Georgetown 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 a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive 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 convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Georgetown KY, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Georgetown Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Georgetown KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Georgetown College is a small, private, Christian liberal arts college in Georgetown, Kentucky. Chartered in 1829, Georgetown was the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the college offers undergraduate degrees and a Master of Arts in education.
Georgetown College traces its roots to Royal Springs Academy, a classical school founded by Baptist minister Elijah Craig in Georgetown in 1787. The institution was renamed Rittenhouse Academy in 1798 as part of a land grant agreement. It was led by Barton Stone, a co-founder of the Stone Campbell Movement, from 1816 to 1819. The academy declined and closed by 1829.
In 1829, the Kentucky General Assembly chartered the Kentucky Baptist Education Society with the purpose of establishing a Baptist college in the state. 24 trustees under the leadership of Silas Noel selected the town of Georgetown as the site for the new school. Georgetown was selected because the community agreed to raise $20,000 and to donate the assets of the recently closed Rittenhouse Academy.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Georgetown KY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Program. But regardless 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Georgetown KY.
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