How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Sturgis Kentucky
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sturgis KY, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 critical factors as well. You may choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Sturgis KY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some choose 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 Training Programs
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Sturgis KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive 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 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.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Sturgis KY area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Sturgis KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Sturgis KY with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Sturgis KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Sturgis KY area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Sturgis medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Sturgis KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sturgis KY, verify 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 internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sturgis Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sturgis KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Sturgis is a home rule-class city in Union County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,030 at the 2000 census. Located in northwest Kentucky, the city was founded in 1886 and named for Samuel Sturgis, who owned the land now occupied by the city.
The area surrounding what would become Sturgis was first settled by American Revolutionary War officers, mostly from Virginia, who had received bounty land for their service. The History of Union County, published in 1886 by The Courier Co., says, "The county had its aristocrats but the [Civil] War had a decidedly leveling tendency yet, there is a tolerably well defined line still marking the society of the county into different sets."
Sturgis was founded the same year as a company town by the Cumberland Land and Iron Company within its coal-mining development. The name derives from either Samuel P. Sturgis, who originally owned the townsite, or for Alida Livingston Sturgis (Samuel's sister), who was married to the president and general manager of the Ohio Valley Railroad Company. The community incorporated as a town on May 3, 1890, with population of 327. The town was reclassified as a city in the 1920s.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Sturgis KY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal 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 get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Schools With Financial Aid. But regardless of the type 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 picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Sturgis KY.
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