Category Archives: West Virginia

What Do Medical Assistants Do Welch WV

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Welch West Virginia

Welch WV medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Welch WV, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Welch WV nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Welch WV hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under West Virginia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Training Programs

Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Welch WV health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Welch WVThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Welch WV area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Welch WV medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Welch WV medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Welch WV with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when researching programs. To help 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 Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Welch WV employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially 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 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Welch WV area health care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Welch medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Welch WV 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 medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Welch WV, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Welch West Virginia?

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

Welch, West Virginia

Welch was incorporated in 1893 and named after Isaiah A. Welch,[6] a former captain in the Confederate States Army who came to the region as a surveyor, and helped establish the plan for the beginning of a new town at the confluence of the Tug and Elkhorn rivers.

Welch was made the county seat of McDowell County in an election by county citizens in 1892[7] even before Welch was incorporated as a city. The previous county seat was in Perryville (now English) on present day West Virginia Route 83 along the Dry Fork. Results of the election were contested so to avoid violence county records were secretly moved from Perryville to Welch at night in two wagons by James A. Strother and Trigg Tabor.

On March 2, 1921, the Welch City Council met to discuss impeachment of then Mayor J. H. Whitt. Whitt showed up at the meeting and disrupted the proceedings. The Welch City Council then asked the McDowell Co. Sheriff's Dept. to investigate Whitt. Later that same day, Mayor Whitt shot and killed McDowell County Deputy Sheriff William Johnson Tabor who was investigating the matter. Mayor Whitt was arrested and charged with murder but won acquittal at his trial (allegedly based on perjured testimony). Whitt left the area for parts unknown on September 27, 1921.

Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Welch WV

Welch WV medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Do Medical Assistants Do. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Welch WV.

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