How to Select a Medical Assistant Course in Marysville Michigan
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Marysville MI, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of potential students start by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Marysville MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although Marysville MI medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Michigan law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Education and Certification
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Marysville MI employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Marysville MI employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably 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. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in regional Michigan health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Marysville MI is furnished.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Marysville MI or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest 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 factors that you should explore when evaluating Michigan schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Marysville MI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Marysville MI area medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the Marysville MI area colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous Michigan medical assistant schools offer internship programs with local healthcare providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Marysville MI health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers in the Marysville MI area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? 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 likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college in the Marysville MI area to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Marysville MI, make sure 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 may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course in Marysville MI
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the type 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 provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Marysville MI.
Why Did You Decide to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask applicants is "What compelled you to pick medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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