How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Stanford Kentucky
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stanford KY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean 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 critical factors as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask all 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Stanford KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying 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 specific area and earn 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 Courses
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Stanford KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Stanford KY area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Stanford KY medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Stanford KY with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, following 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 Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Stanford KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, 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 example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths 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, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Stanford KY area medical care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Stanford healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stanford KY area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent 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 might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Stanford KY, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stanford Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stanford KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stanford is a home rule-class city in Lincoln County, Kentucky, United States. It is one of the oldest settlements in Kentucky, having been founded in 1775. Its population was 3,487 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lincoln County. Stanford is part of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Stanford was founded in 1775 by Benjamin Logan as St. Asaph; the early settlement was also known simply as Logan's Fort. The site of the fort is about one mile west of the courthouse at the center of town. The name "Fort Logan" is still used to this day by local businesses, including the Fort Logan Hospital and Standing Fort Collectibles. The main street was built on what was originally a buffalo trail.
The name Stanford may have come from "Standing Fort", a name given to Fort Logan because it survived multiple attacks by British-led Native Americans during the American Revolution. Alternately, it may have been named for Stamford, England. Although it was one of the smaller pioneer forts, it never fell to an attack.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Stanford KY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is 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 acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as 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 Tech. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Stanford KY.
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