How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Adamstown Maryland
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Adamstown MD, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Adamstown MD hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out 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 physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maryland law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Adamstown MD health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Adamstown MD area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Adamstown MD medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Adamstown MD with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Adamstown MD employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Adamstown MD area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Adamstown health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Adamstown MD area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication 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 provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college 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 college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Adamstown MD, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Adamstown Maryland?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Adamstown MD area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Adamstown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Frederick County, Maryland, United States. It is named for Adam Kohlenberg (March 11, 1819 – January 1, 1868), a station agent and first town merchant who owned much of present-day Adamstown. As of the 2010 census, the Adamstown CDP had a population of 2,372.
Adamstown lies in the fertile valley between Sugarloaf and Catoctin Mountain on the former Carrollton Manor, a 17,000-acre (69 km2) estate originally owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Until 2000, it was a little-altered representative of mid-19th century linear town planning. It is significant in architecture for its variety of structures, including residential, commercial, industrial, educational, agricultural, and religious buildings. The late 18th century road from Jefferson to Greenfield Mills on the Monocacy River, originally called the Bridal Road, followed the route of the present-day Mountville Road. The 1832 arrival of the railroad to the manor created the economic and transportation impetus for the development of the community.
Adamstown was first known as "Davis' Warehouse" because Dr. Meredith Davis, a leading Quaker county miller, built a warehouse about 1835 where Mountville Road, by then called Jefferson Road, crossed the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (9 miles (14 km) southwest of Frederick) to store flour from his Greenfield Mills. The first settler in Adamstown was Robert Palmer, an African American "post and railer" who also ran a general store around 1835. In 1840 when Adam Kohlenburg was appointed the first B&O railway agent, the community became known as "Adamstown", after his given name. He was also the first postmaster and ran a general store located in the lot between his brick Italianate-style home and the railroad. Edward Hebb laid off lots on the north side of the railroad in the 1840s. Daniel Rhodes of Pennsylvania, the first white settler, was so impressed with the location, he bought a tract of land and laid it off into 12 building lots on the south side of the railroad in 1856.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Adamstown MD
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 Accredited Medical Assistant Programs. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Adamstown MD.
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