Medical Assistant Major Lafayette LA

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Lafayette Louisiana

Lafayette LA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lafayette LA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” 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 Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Lafayette LA nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Lafayette LA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Louisiana law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Lafayette LA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created 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 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 related field.

Online Medical Assistant Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Lafayette LAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Lafayette LA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Lafayette LA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Lafayette LA medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Lafayette LA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, 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, many potential Lafayette LA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? 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 learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally 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, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Lafayette LA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Lafayette healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Lafayette LA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to observe 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 on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lafayette LA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Lafayette Louisiana?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lafayette LA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette (/ˌlæfiˈjɛt/; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana,[4] located along the Vermilion River in the southwestern part of the state. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 127,657 according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates.[5] It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a 2015 estimated population of 490,488. The larger trade area or Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA was 627,146 in 2015.[5] Its nickname is The Hub City.

The Attakapas Native Americans inhabited this area at the time of European encounter. French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post along the Vermilion River.[6] In the late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area, after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War. They intermarried with other settlers, forming what is known as Cajun culture, which continued as strongly French language and Catholic religion.

Jean Mouton, of Acadian descent, donated land to the Catholic church for construction of a small Catholic chapel at this site. In 1824 this area was selected for the Lafayette Parish seat and known as Vermilionville, for its location on the river. In 1836 the Louisiana Legislature granted it incorporation.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Lafayette LA

Lafayette LA medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Major. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lafayette LA.

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