How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Ghent Kentucky
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Ghent KY, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Ghent KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Ghent KY health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Ghent KY area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Ghent KY medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Ghent KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Ghent KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Ghent KY area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Ghent healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Ghent KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ghent KY, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Ghent Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Ghent KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Ghent is located in northeastern Carroll County at 38°44′10″N 85°3′37″W / 38.73611°N 85.06028°W / 38.73611; -85.06028 (38.736116, -85.060225), along the Ohio River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), all land. The community is located on U.S. Route 42 at Kentucky Route 47. Ghent is north of Interstate 71.
Ghent was settled at the end of eighteenth century and was first known as McCool's Creek Settlement. The town was laid out in 1814.Henry Clay is alleged to have suggested the name, derived from the city of Ghent (then part of the Netherlands and now part of Belgium), where the treaty ending the War of 1812 was signed between the United States and the United Kingdom on Christmas Eve, 1814. Ghent's post office opened in 1816. On January 17, 1839, the Kentucky General Assembly formally established the city of Ghent and appointed Theodoric Fisher, Samuel Sanders Jr., James Knox, John C. Lindsey, and Richard Sarlls as its trustees.
In August 1864, in a skirmish during the Civil War in what was known as the Gex Landing Incident, members of the African-American United States Colored Troops and the United States Colored Cavalry engaged with CSA troops seeking to rescue local resident James Southard, a ferryman and Confederate sympathizer who had been arrested. USCT soldiers suffered an undetermined number of casualties.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course Ghent KY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection 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 agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Online School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Ghent KY.
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