How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Springfield Kentucky
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Springfield KY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Springfield KY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Springfield KY health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Springfield KY area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Springfield KY medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Springfield KY with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Springfield KY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Springfield KY area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Springfield 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? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Springfield KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program 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 contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springfield KY, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Springfield Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Springfield KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Springfield, noted by filmmakers as Hollywood South, is the site of Kentucky’s first and only movie sound stage. The Springfield Bonded Film Complex came about as a part of the burgeoning film industry in Kentucky, ushered in by the state’s film tax credit. This tax credit has the distinction as the most generous in the nation.
Springfield is located at 37°41′11″N 85°13′19″W / 37.68639°N 85.22194°W / 37.68639; -85.22194 (37.686328, -85.221955). Springfield is located approximately 15 miles east of Bardstown, 10 miles north of Lebanon, and 17 miles west of Danville.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,634 people, 1,166 households, and 711 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,048.5 per square mile (404.8/km2). There were 1,239 housing units at an average density of 493.2/sq mi (190.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.68% White, 22.40% African American, 0.53% Asian, 0.80% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Springfield KY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if 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 before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Springfield KY.
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