How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Mayfield Kentucky
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Mayfield KY, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many potential 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, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Mayfield KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. 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 support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Mayfield KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive 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 element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Mayfield KY area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Mayfield KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded 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. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Mayfield KY with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one 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 often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Mayfield KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Mayfield KY area medical providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Mayfield health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Mayfield 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 healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual 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 instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mayfield KY, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Mayfield Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Mayfield KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw people in 1818. Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is believed to have been the first European-American settler, arriving in 1819 and building a log home on Mayfield Creek. In December 1821, Anderson was appointed county court clerk and moved about two and a half miles to the site that became Mayfield. According to Trabue Davis, the town's name originates indirectly from a gambler named Mayfield, who was kidnapped about 1817 at a racetrack near what is now Hickman. He was carried to the site of today's Mayfield, where he carved his name into a tree in hopes that someone would see it. He tried to escape, but drowned trying to cross what is now called Mayfield Creek. The town took its name from the creek.
The completion of the Memphis, New Orleans, and Northern Railroad in 1858 connected Mayfield with the outside world. Beginning with the founding of the Mayfield Woolen Mills in 1860, manufacturing clothing became the main industry in Mayfield for the next hundred years. The town was also a major market for loose-leaf tobacco, and was part of the Black Patch, where Dark Fired Tobacco was processed.
During the Civil War, the Jackson Purchase area, including Mayfield, strongly supported the Confederate cause. It has been called "Kentucky's South Carolina". On May 29, 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers from Kentucky and Tennessee met at the Graves County Courthouse to discuss the possibility of joining the Jackson Purchase to West Tennessee. Most records of the event are lost, probably due to an 1887 fire that destroyed the courthouse.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant College Mayfield KY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged 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 Medical Assistant Bachelor Degree. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Mayfield KY.
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