How to Select a Medical Assistant School near East Greenwich Rhode Island
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near East Greenwich RI, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges 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 Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the East Greenwich RI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Rhode Island law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of East Greenwich RI health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element requiring 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in East Greenwich RI area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible East Greenwich RI medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly 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, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending 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, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to East Greenwich RI with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential East Greenwich RI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with East Greenwich RI area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the East Greenwich healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the East Greenwich RI area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Greenwich RI, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near East Greenwich Rhode Island?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the East Greenwich RI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
East Greenwich is an affluent town and the county seat of Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 13,146 at the 2010 census. East Greenwich is the wealthiest municipality within the state of Rhode Island. It is part of the Providence metropolitan statistical area and the Boston-Worcester-Providence combined statistical area.
Formed as Greenwich in 1677, it was named for Greenwich, England. It was renamed Dedford in 1686 but reverted to its original name in 1689. In 1741 the more rural western three-quarters of the town was set off as West Greenwich, the remaining quarter of it thenceforth being called East Greenwich. Until 1854, it was one of the five state capitals for Rhode Island. The General Assembly, when meeting in East Greenwich, used the local courthouse, which is today the town hall. East Greenwich Village is located in the northeastern part of the town and extends north about 0.93 mi (1.5 km) into the town of Warwick, Rhode Island. The town is now known for its waterfront, renowned school district, and downtown restaurant/shopping district.
East Greenwich was founded in 1677 by the General Assembly in an attempt to solidify land claims against those of Connecticut and the Narragansett Proprietors. The Assembly designated 5000 acres to the new town and provided lots to settlers who would agree to live there. Locals quickly took the assembly up on this offer, and the quick establishment of the town helped hold back plans of Connecticut in pushing their border eastward. East Greenwich was therefore the only Rhode Island town established by an act of government, not commercial interests. In 1687, the Narragansett Proprietors attempted to settle land north of Wickford which overlapped with the land of East Greenwich; however, the Massachusetts governor Sir Edmund Andros, who had authority to settle the dispute, ruled in favor of the existing East Greenwich settlement.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School East Greenwich RI
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example 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 Medical Assistant Education Needed. 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in East Greenwich RI.
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Rhode Island Hospitals and Health Services | Lifespan
Lifespan, Rhode Island's first health system, was founded in 1994 by Rhode Island Hospital and the Miriam Hospital. A comprehensive, integrated, academic health system with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Lifespan's present partners also include Rhode Island Hospital's pediatric division, Hasbro Children's Hospital; Bradley Hospital; Newport Hospital; Gateway Healthcare ...