Medical Assistant Training Programs near Moss Landing CA 95039

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training in Moss Landing California

Moss Landing CA Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Moss Landing CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many future students begin by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Moss Landing CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Even though Moss Landing CA medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 Courses and Certification

Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Moss Landing CA employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Moss Landing CA employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

CMA working with children in Moss Landing CAThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for students 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 choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in local California medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Moss Landing CA is provided.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Moss Landing CA or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching colleges. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating California programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Moss Landing CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Moss Landing CA area medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the Moss Landing CA area schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous California medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Moss Landing CA medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers in the Moss Landing CA area to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school in the Moss Landing CA area to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Moss Landing CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Select the Right Medical Assistant Program in Moss Landing CA

It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Moss Landing CA.

Why Did You Desire to Become a Medical Assistant?

When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask prospects is "What drove you to choose medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a CMA, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.

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