Category Archives: Tennessee

How Long To Get Medical Assistant Certification Smithville TN

How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Smithville Tennessee

Smithville TN medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Smithville TN, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Smithville TN nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Smithville TN hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. 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 assistance to the physicians, nurses 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
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Tennessee law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered 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

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Smithville TN health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Smithville TNThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Smithville TN area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Smithville TN medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Smithville TN medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Smithville TN with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Smithville TN employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically 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, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Smithville TN area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Smithville health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Smithville TN 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 health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Smithville TN, verify 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 will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Smithville Tennessee?

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

Smithville, Tennessee

Smithville is a city in DeKalb County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,530 at the 2010 census,[6] up from 3,994 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of DeKalb County.[7] Smithville is home to the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree, which it has hosted annually since 1972.

Smithville is located in central DeKalb County at 35°57′26″N 85°49′15″W / 35.95722°N 85.82083°W / 35.95722; -85.82083 (35.957191, -85.820756).[8]U.S. Route 70 passes through the town as Broad Street, leading east 21 miles (34 km) to Sparta and northwest 36 miles (58 km) to Lebanon. Tennessee State Route 56 (Congress Boulevard) crosses US 70 a few blocks southeast of the center of town and leads north 13 miles (21 km) to Interstate 40 at Silver Point and 19 miles (31 km) south to McMinnville. Cookeville is 28 miles (45 km) to the northeast, and Nashville is 65 miles (105 km) to the west.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,994 people, 1,675 households, and 1,065 families residing in the city. The population density was 679.4 people per square mile (262.3/km²). There were 1,837 housing units at an average density of 312.5 per square mile (120.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.34% White, 2.73% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 1.65% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.06% of the population.

Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Smithville TN

Smithville TN medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right 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 life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, 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 How Long To Get Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Smithville TN.

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