How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Crowley Louisiana
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Crowley LA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Crowley LA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Louisiana 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Crowley LA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Crowley LA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Crowley LA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify 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 CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you want to earn, 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 covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Crowley LA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when assessing schools. To assist 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 final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school 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. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate 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 Crowley LA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Crowley LA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Crowley medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Crowley LA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small 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 possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Crowley LA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Crowley Louisiana?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Crowley LA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Crowley (Local pronunciation: /ˈkræli/) is a city in and the parish seat of Acadia Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 13,265 at the 2010 census but 14,225 in 2000, a loss of nearly a thousand persons. It is 63.8 percent Non-Hispanic White.
Crowley was founded in 1886 by C.C. Duson and W.W. Duson. Incorporated in 1887, W.W. Duson, General Manager of Southwest Louisiana Land Company, plotted and developed Crowley. W.W. Duson's daughter, Maime Duson, married Percy Lee Lawrence, who founded the First National Bank of Crowley. The 7-story building was once the tallest building between Houston and New Orleans. They lived with their three children, P.L. Jr., Pattee, and Jack at 219 East 2nd Street. The house is now on the historic register.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,225 people, 5,294 households, and 3,668 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,895.1 people per square mile (1,118.6/km²). There were 5,904 housing units at an average density of 1,201.6 per square mile (464.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.83% White, 30.98% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Crowley LA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays 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 decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Requirements. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Crowley LA.
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