How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Leitchfield Kentucky
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Leitchfield KY, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate 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 choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Leitchfield KY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance 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 potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can 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 choices 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 Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Leitchfield 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 generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Leitchfield KY area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Leitchfield KY medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly 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, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Leitchfield KY with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Leitchfield KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools 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 select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically 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, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Leitchfield KY area healthcare providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Leitchfield medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Leitchfield KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Leitchfield KY, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Leitchfield Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Leitchfield KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Leitchfield is in the eastern end of the Western Coal Fields in Kentucky and exhibits some karst topography. It is located along the Western Kentucky Parkway at the junction of Kentucky Route 259. U.S. Route 62 intersects Kentucky Route 259 at the middle of town. Leitchfield is situated between Rough River Lake to the north and Nolin River Lake to the south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28.2 km2), of which 10.8 square miles (28.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.
Leitchfield's radio stations are 104.9 WKHG-FM, a.k.a. K105, a Top 40 station, and 870 WMTL-AM, which plays country music and also 103.9fm the moose is a country channel that plays popular sports talk show Kentucky Sports Radio hosted by Matt Jones. Both stations are owned by Heritage Media of Kentucky. Also, WKHG carries the radio sports broadcasts for Grayson County High School, the University of Kentucky, and the Tennessee Titans.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Leitchfield KY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch 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 information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Technician. But irrespective 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Leitchfield KY.
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