How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Shepherdsville Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Shepherdsville KY, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest 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 research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short 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 Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is ensure that the Shepherdsville KY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health 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 filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Programs
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Shepherdsville 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 essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Shepherdsville KY area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Shepherdsville KY medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Shepherdsville KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Shepherdsville KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Shepherdsville KY area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Shepherdsville health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Shepherdsville KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe 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 essential that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Shepherdsville KY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Shepherdsville Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Shepherdsville KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Shepherdsville is a home rule-class city on the Salt River in Bullitt County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county, located just south of Louisville. The population was 11,222 during the 2010 U.S. Census.
The vicinity was originally known by European Americans as "Bullitt's Lick" for the salt licks discovered by surveyor Capt. Thomas Bullitt in 1773. The area was home to Kentucky's first commercial salt works. These were shuttered in the 1830s because of competition from Virginian works along the Kanawha River (now in West Virginia). Shepherdsville developed around the mill and store erected along the Salt River by Adam Shepherd, who had purchased 900 acres (360 ha) in the area. The city received its charter in 1793 and was designated as the county seat when Bullitt County was formed in 1796.
The first post office opened in 1806. In 1836, a mineral water spa called Paroquet Springs opened. The mineral water was believed to have medicinal properties, so sufferers from a variety of maladies visited Shepherdsville to drink and bathe in the water. In the mid-1850s, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad's mainline was constructed nearby.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Shepherdsville KY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering 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, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Classes Needed For Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Shepherdsville KY.
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