Category Archives: Virginia

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Woodbridge VA

How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Woodbridge Virginia

Woodbridge VA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Woodbridge VA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Woodbridge VA nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Woodbridge VA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Virginia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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

In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Woodbridge VA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few 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 acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as 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 courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Woodbridge VAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Woodbridge VA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed 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 option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Woodbridge VA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered 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 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Woodbridge VA medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Woodbridge VA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when researching schools. 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 final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Woodbridge VA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Woodbridge VA area medical providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Woodbridge healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Woodbridge VA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Woodbridge VA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Woodbridge Virginia?

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

Woodbridge, Virginia

Woodbridge is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince William County, Virginia, United States, located 20 miles (32 km) south of Washington, D.C.[3] Bounded by the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, Woodbridge Magisterial District had 54,275 residents at the 2010 census.[4] The Woodbridge census-designated place comprises just one portion of the magisterial district and had a population of 4,055 in the 2010 census.[5] The census-designated place consists solely of the section north of Occoquan Road and Dawson Beach Road, and east of Interstate 95.

Woodbridge offers a variety of amenities for residents and visitors, including the Potomac Mills shopping mall and the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Centre Shopping Centers. Woodbridge is served by the Prince William County Public Schools, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College borders the district. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, formerly Potomac Hospital, recently expanded and now has the capacity to serve 183 patients.[6] Transportation includes access to Interstate 95, two VRE commuter train stations, bus service, and a local "slugging" system, offering residents a variety of transit options.

Woodbridge offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for resident and visitors. The Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life including the bald eagles and ospreys. Veteran's Park and Leesylvania State Park are located on the Potomac River and provide swimming, boating, picnic and hiking services. Close-by is Rippon Lodge, the oldest house in Prince William County, which is open for tours throughout the summer. Trails at Leesylvania Park lead to the ancestral home of the Lee family.

Select the Best Medical Assistant Course Woodbridge VA

Woodbridge VA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Woodbridge VA.

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