How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Denham Springs Louisiana
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Denham Springs LA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Denham Springs LA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. 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 providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Louisiana law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Denham Springs LA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Denham Springs LA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Denham Springs LA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Denham Springs 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 considerations that you must explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Denham Springs LA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine 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 obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Denham Springs LA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Denham Springs healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Denham Springs LA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller 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 sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Denham Springs LA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Denham Springs Louisiana?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Denham Springs LA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Denham Springs is a city in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, United States. The 2010 census placed the population at 10,215, up from 8,757 at the 2000 census. The city is the largest area of commercial and residential development in Livingston Parish. As of the 2010 census, Denham Springs and Walker are the only parish municipalities classified as cities.
The original land claims of John Noblet and Alexander Hogue form what is now the older section of Denham Springs, including the first residential and business districts. In 1828, William Denham, a Wilkinson County, Mississippi, native, married Mercy Hogue, the daughter of Alexander Hogue; and three months later he purchased the 640 acres (2.6 km2) originally claimed by his father-in-law. Denham purchased the land and a slave for $1,350.
A popular belief, supported by previously published histories, is that William Denham discovered the mineral springs on his property and that a health resort quickly grew up there. This belief defies logic, however, considering the number of springs which may be found in this area even today, and the length of time that elapsed before Denham arrived. No doubt Hogue and other early residents of the area depended on the springs for drinking water.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant School Denham Springs LA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Denham Springs LA.
More Medical Locations in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 14