Medical Assistant Training Programs near Birmingham MI 48009

How to Select a Medical Assistant School in Birmingham Michigan

Birmingham MI Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Birmingham MI, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several 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 role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Birmingham MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Providing general support during exams and procedures

Even though Birmingham MI medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Michigan law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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 Courses and Certification

In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Birmingham MI employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Birmingham MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for 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, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

CMA working with children in Birmingham MIThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in area Michigan medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Birmingham MI is furnished.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Prior to examining your medical assistant program options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Birmingham MI or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when assessing Michigan schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Birmingham MI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited Birmingham MI area medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Birmingham MI area colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? Many Michigan medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Birmingham MI medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts in the Birmingham MI area to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout 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 practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program in the Birmingham MI area to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Birmingham MI, verify 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 internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College in Birmingham MI

It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper 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 get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering 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 an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Birmingham MI.

Why Did You Want to Become a Medical Assistant?

When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask candidates is "What made you pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a CMA, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

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