How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Accokeek Maryland
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Accokeek MD, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Accokeek MD hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maryland law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain 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
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Accokeek MD health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical 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 frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the 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 working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Accokeek MD area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Accokeek MD medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Accokeek MD with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, following 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 College Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Accokeek MD employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Accokeek MD area medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Accokeek health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Accokeek MD area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Accokeek MD, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Accokeek Maryland?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Accokeek MD area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Accokeek (/ɑːkˈəkiːk/), "at the edge of the hill" in Algonquin, is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The CDP is located on the Potomac River, borders Charles County and is approximately 17 miles from Washington, D.C. It is a part of the Washington metropolitan area. The population of the CDP, as of the 2010 United States Census was 10,573, making it the 118th most populous place in the state of Maryland.
While the area around Accokeek was occupied by Native Americans since approximately 2,000 BCE, John Smith was the first European to settle the area in 1608. In 1990, the United States Census Bureau officially made Accokeek a CDP.
The area around Accokeek had been occupied since around 2000 BC; however, the first permanent village was established in c. 1200 AD by the Piscataway tribe.Captain John Smith was the first European to see the Accokeek area. In 1608, he sailed the Potomac River and found the Moyaone village. At the time of the discovery, Moyaone was the seat of government for the Piscataway Tribe. The village of Moyaone disbanded and the population migrated to other tribes before other Europeans settled the area.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course Accokeek MD
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan 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 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Accokeek MD.
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