How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Stanton Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stanton KY, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Stanton KY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Education
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Stanton KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Stanton KY area health care 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 right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Stanton 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 perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, 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 offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Stanton KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, 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 College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Stanton KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools 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 for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Stanton KY area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Stanton health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stanton 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 a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts 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 during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Stanton KY, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stanton Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stanton KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The first post office to be located in present-day Stanton was established on July 7, 1849 and was named Beaver Pond, because of the settlement's proximity to a small body of water resulting from a beaver dam. In 1852, both the post office and the settlement were renamed Stanton for Richard H. Stanton, who served in Congress from 1849 to 1855 and later as a U.S. senator.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Stanton (and nearby Clay City) were booming logging centers for Eastern Kentucky. The city was also connected to much of the country by a railroad that went through the city and county. Since then the railroad has been removed. The original train depot still exists and is home to the Powell County Tourism Association.
The representative body of the city of Stanton is the city council. The council members include: Dixie Lockard, Margarita Arnett, Pam McIntosh Tipton, Charlotte Estes, Linville Bellamy, and Tommy Mays.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Stanton KY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is 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 obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Stanton KY.
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