How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Crownsville Maryland
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Crownsville 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 ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Crownsville MD clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. 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 tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maryland law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Crownsville MD health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Crownsville MD area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Crownsville MD medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty 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 provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Crownsville MD with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To begin 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 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Crownsville 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 must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Crownsville MD area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Crownsville health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Crownsville MD area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate 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 fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Crownsville MD, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Crownsville Maryland?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Crownsville MD area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Crownsville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States. The population was 1,757 at the 2010 census. It hosts the Anne Arundel County Fair each September, as well as the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival for several summer weekends. A state psychiatric hospital was formerly in Crownsville. The area offers waterfront scenery and easy access to urban metropolitan areas and culture.
Crownsville is located at 39°1′27″N 76°35′54″W / 39.02417°N 76.59833°W / 39.02417; -76.59833 (39.024149, −76.598295), 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Annapolis, the state capital. Maryland Route 178 (Generals Highway) runs through the center of the CDP, and Interstate 97 forms the southwestern edge of the CDP, with access from the north via Exit 5.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.2 km2), all of it land. However, waterfront communities such as Arden On The Severn and Herald Harbor have Crownsville addresses.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Crownsville MD
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose 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 Medical Assistant Night Classes. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Crownsville MD.
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