How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Classes in Essex Connecticut
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Essex CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide 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 start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short 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 offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Essex CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Although Essex CT medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some choose to specialize in a particular 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 Training and Certification
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Essex CT employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Essex CT employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in area Connecticut health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Essex CT is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Essex CT or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating Connecticut programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Essex CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited Essex CT area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the Essex CT area schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many Connecticut medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with regional medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Essex CT healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts in the Essex CT 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 throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program in the Essex CT area to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Essex CT, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program in Essex CT
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Essex CT.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask candidates is "What drove you to decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in Connecticut That May Be Of Interest