How to Select a Medical Assistant School in New Haven Michigan
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in New Haven MI, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some 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 function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the New Haven MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though New Haven MI medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Michigan law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Courses and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of New Haven MI employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as 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 component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential New Haven MI employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in regional Michigan healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in New Haven MI is furnished.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant program options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near New Haven MI or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when evaluating Michigan programs. 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 ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective New Haven MI 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 New Haven MI area medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the New Haven MI area schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many Michigan medical assistant schools offer internship programs with area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the New Haven MI medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college 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 large network of contacts in the New Haven MI area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program in the New Haven MI area to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in New Haven MI, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may 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 issues.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program in New Haven MI
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get 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 on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget 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 subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in New Haven MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask applicants is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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