How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Oak Grove Kentucky
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oak Grove KY, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to look into several 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 relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Oak Grove KY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity 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
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Oak Grove KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Oak Grove KY area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Oak Grove KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA 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 choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, 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 covered at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Oak Grove KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 approved 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Oak Grove KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Oak Grove KY area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Oak Grove health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Oak Grove 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 an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oak Grove KY, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oak Grove Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oak Grove KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Oak Grove, Kentucky
Oak Grove is a home rule-class city adjacent to the Fort Campbell army base in Christian County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 7,489 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is part of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area.
The first post office in Oak Grove was established in 1828. The community was named for oak trees near the original town site. The Clarksville Railroad was extended to Oak Grove in the 19th century.
Oak Grove is located in southeastern Christian County at 36°39′30″N 87°25′10″W / 36.65833°N 87.41944°W / 36.65833; -87.41944 (36.658374, -87.419565). Its southern border is the Tennessee state line, and it is bordered to the west by Fort Campbell. Hopkinsville, the Christian County seat, touches the northwest corner of Oak Grove along Fort Campbell Boulevard (U.S. Route 41 Alternate). Interstate 24 forms the northeast boundary of Oak Grove, with access from exit 86 (US 41 Alt.) and exit 89 (Kentucky Route 115). The city of Clarksville, Tennessee, is along the southern boundary of Oak Grove.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant College Oak Grove KY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire 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 discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Requirements. 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Oak Grove KY.
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