Medical Assistant Certification Requirements Bladensburg MD

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Bladensburg Maryland

Bladensburg MD medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bladensburg MD, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Role of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Bladensburg MD nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Bladensburg MD clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices 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. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Maryland law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available 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 Education

Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Bladensburg MD health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine 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 usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Bladensburg MDThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Bladensburg MD area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Bladensburg MD medical employers just 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) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Bladensburg MD medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Bladensburg MD with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Bladensburg MD employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating 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 college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Bladensburg MD area health care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Bladensburg healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Bladensburg MD area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bladensburg MD, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out 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 Bladensburg Maryland?

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

Bladensburg, Maryland

Bladensburg is a town in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States.[6] The population was 9,148 at the 2010 census.[7] Areas in Bladensburg have the ZIP code 20710. Bladensburg is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) from central Washington, D.C.

Originally called Garrison's Landing, Bladensburg was renamed in honor of Thomas Bladen, governor of Maryland, 1742–1747. Bladensburg was established in 1742 as a regional commercial center by an act of the Maryland General Assembly. The act also authorized the town commissioners to purchase 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land to be laid out in 1-acre (4,000 m2) lots. The act required that a house covering at least 400 square feet (37 m2) of ground with a brick or stone chimney be constructed within 18 months of the sale of the lot. As of 6 June 1746, only 18 of the lots had been improved according to the stipulations of the act. Christopher Lowndes' house, Bostwick, and those built by David Ross and William Hilleary (the William Hilleary House) were among them.[8]

A seaport during the colonial period, Bladensburg is best remembered for the Battle of Bladensburg (1814) during the War of 1812, notable because it was the only battle in American history in which a sitting president (James Madison) rode into battle. America's eventual defeat, called "the greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms",[9] cleared the way for the burning of Washington by British troops. Its role as a seaport faded as the Anacostia River silted up and larger ships could no longer reach the port.

Select the Best Medical Assistant College Bladensburg MD

Bladensburg MD medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare 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 before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Requirements. But irrespective 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bladensburg MD.

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