Medical Assistant Training Programs near Clarkston MI 48346

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program in Clarkston Michigan

Clarkston MI Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Clarkston MI, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Clarkston MI hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

Even though Clarkston MI medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Michigan law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs and Certification

Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Clarkston MI employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Clarkston MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

CMA working with children in Clarkston MIThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good choice for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in regional Michigan medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Clarkston MI is furnished.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Clarkston MI or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching Michigan programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Clarkston MI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Clarkston MI area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the Clarkston MI area colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Many Michigan medical assistant programs offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Clarkston MI medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts in the Clarkston MI area to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college in the Clarkston MI area to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Clarkston MI, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Program in Clarkston MI

It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Clarkston MI.

Why Did You Want to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?

When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask candidates is "What made you decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a CMA, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

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