How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training in Northville Michigan
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Northville MI, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Northville MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. 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 giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While Northville MI medical assistants may perform almost any duty 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education and Certification
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Northville MI employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Northville MI employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice 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. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in local Michigan medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Northville MI is furnished.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant program alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Northville MI or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should look at when researching Michigan programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive 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 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Northville MI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Northville MI area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want 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. Naturally schools with lower rates are those 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 select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the Northville MI area schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many Michigan medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with local medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Northville MI health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in the Northville MI area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college in the Northville MI area to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Northville MI, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Northville MI
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly 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 made a decision 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 choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Northville MI.
Why Did You Desire to Be a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask prospects is "What made you select medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Michigan That May Be Of Interest