How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Bogalusa Louisiana
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bogalusa LA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Bogalusa LA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities 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 specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Louisiana law, some opt 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Bogalusa LA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Bogalusa LA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical 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 requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Bogalusa LA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Bogalusa LA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, 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 need to complete 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Bogalusa LA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must 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 of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Bogalusa LA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Bogalusa medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Bogalusa LA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bogalusa LA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bogalusa Louisiana?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bogalusa LA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bogalusa is a city in Washington Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 12,232 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Bogalusa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Washington Parish and is also part of the larger New Orleans–Metairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area.
The name of the city derives from the Choctaw language term bogue lusa, which translates to "dark water" in English. Located in an area of pine forests, in the early 20th century, this industrial city was developed as a company town, to provide worker housing and services in association with a Great Southern Lumber Company sawmill. In the late 1930s, this operation was replaced with paper mills and chemical operations.
In the early 1900s, brothers Frank Henry Goodyear and Charles W. Goodyear of Buffalo, New York, bought hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin pine forests in southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. They had already been successful in lumbering isolated areas in New York and Pennsylvania, and had developed a strategy of building railroad spurs to provide access to the forests. In 1902, they chartered the Great Southern Lumber Company (1908–38) and built its sawmill in what became Bogalusa, a company town which they built to support this rural operation. The sawmill was the largest in the world at the time. The Goodyear interests built the city of Bogalusa to house workers and supervisors, and associated infrastructure. They also built the Great Northern New Orleans Railroad to New Orleans to transport their lumber and products to market.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Bogalusa LA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right 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 addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. But irrespective 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bogalusa LA.
More Medical Locations in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 7