How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Wanaque New Jersey
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wanaque NJ, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start 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 Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Wanaque NJ clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners 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
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under New Jersey law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Wanaque NJ health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Wanaque NJ area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Wanaque NJ medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Wanaque NJ 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 factors that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Wanaque NJ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Wanaque NJ area medical providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Wanaque health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Wanaque NJ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wanaque NJ, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, 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 Wanaque New Jersey?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wanaque NJ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wanaque, New Jersey
Wanaque (/ˈwɒnəkjuː, wəˈnɑːki/) is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,116, reflecting an increase of 850 (+8.3%) from the 10,266 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 555 (+5.7%) from the 9,711 counted in the 1990 Census.
Wanaque was incorporated as an independent borough on February 23, 1918, when Pompton Township was split up into three boroughs, along with Bloomingdale and Ringwood, based on the results of a referendum held on March 22, 1918. The borough's name Wanaque (original pronunciation 'Wa Na Kee') is thought to have been derived from a Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of sassafras".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 9.253 square miles (23.965 km2), including 7.990 square miles (20.694 km2) of land and 1.263 square miles (3.271 km2) of water (13.65%).
Choose the Best Medical Assistant College Wanaque NJ
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Being A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Wanaque NJ.
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