How to Choose a Medical Assistant Classes in Bangor Michigan
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Bangor MI, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Bangor MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Bangor MI medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Michigan law, some elect to specialize in a particular 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 Courses and Certification
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Bangor MI employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Bangor MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in regional Michigan health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Bangor MI is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Bangor MI or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when evaluating Michigan schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Bangor MI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Bangor MI area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose 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 one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially 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, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the Bangor MI area schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of Michigan medical assistant programs offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Bangor MI health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts in the Bangor MI area to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Bangor MI area to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Bangor MI, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Program in Bangor MI
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing 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 sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on 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 on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Bangor MI.
Why Did You Want to Be a Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask applicants is "What drove you to pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a CMA, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Michigan That May Be Of Interest