How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Lexington Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lexington KY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Lexington KY hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Lexington KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend 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 pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Lexington KY area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Lexington KY medical employers simply will not employ 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 examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Lexington KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. First, 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 need to complete 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Lexington KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Lexington KY area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Lexington health care 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 very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Lexington KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lexington KY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol 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 Lexington Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lexington KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lexington, consolidated with Fayette County and often denoted as Lexington-Fayette, is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the United States. By land area, Lexington is the 28th largest city in the United States. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," it is the heart of the state's Bluegrass region. With a mayor-alderman form of government, it is one of two cities in Kentucky designated by the state as first-class; the other is the state's largest city of Louisville.[a] In the 2017 U.S. Census Estimate, the city's population was 321,959, anchoring a metropolitan area of 512,650 people and a combined statistical area of 856,849 people.
Lexington ranks 10th among US cities in college education rate, with 39.5% of residents having at least a bachelor's degree. It is the location of the Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile, and Keeneland race courses, Rupp Arena, Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
This area of fertile soil and abundant wildlife was long occupied by varying tribes of Native Americans. European explorers began to trade with them, but settlers did not come in large numbers until the late 18th century.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program Lexington KY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm 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 examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 6 Month Program For Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online 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 right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Lexington KY.
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