How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Oakland Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oakland KY, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Oakland KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Oakland KY health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade 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 usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Oakland KY area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Oakland KY medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received 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). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Oakland KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Oakland KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out 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 college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Oakland KY area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Oakland healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Oakland KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small 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 practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oakland KY, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oakland Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oakland KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Oakland is located at 37°2′30″N 86°14′58″W / 37.04167°N 86.24944°W / 37.04167; -86.24944 (37.041675, -86.249344). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land. The city is situated northeast of Bowling Green in an area bordered by U.S. Route 68 on the south, and extending northward in the direction of U.S. Route 31W. Interstate 65 passes south of Oakland. The city of Smiths Grove lies just to the east.
As of the census of 2000, there were 260 people, 102 households, and 79 families residing in the city. The population density was 188.1 people per square mile (72.7/km²). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 77.4 per square mile (29.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.08% White, 11.54% African American, and 0.38% from two or more races.
There were 102 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.88.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Oakland KY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 Short Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Oakland KY.
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