How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Course in Enfield Connecticut
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Enfield CT, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Enfield CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While Enfield CT medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs and Certification
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Enfield CT employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Enfield CT employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in regional Connecticut medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Enfield CT is provided.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Enfield CT or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching Connecticut programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Enfield CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Enfield CT area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring 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 about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the Enfield CT area colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous Connecticut medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Enfield CT healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers in the Enfield CT area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school in the Enfield CT area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Enfield CT, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training in Enfield CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the proper 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 lifetime career, you need to get the right 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 individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Enfield CT.
Why Did You Want to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask prospects is "What compelled you to choose medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a CMA, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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