How to Choose a Medical Assistant School in Broad Brook Connecticut
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Broad Brook CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Broad Brook CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though Broad Brook CT medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Programs and Certification
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Broad Brook CT employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Broad Brook CT employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 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.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in regional Connecticut medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Broad Brook CT is furnished.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant program options, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Broad Brook CT or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing Connecticut schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Broad Brook CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited Broad Brook CT area medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose 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. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the Broad Brook CT area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many Connecticut medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Broad Brook CT medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers in the Broad Brook CT area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program in the Broad Brook CT area to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Broad Brook CT, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training in Broad Brook CT
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure 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 start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Broad Brook CT.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask candidates is "What drove you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a CMA, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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