Medical Assistant Training Programs near Shepherd MI 48883

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School in Shepherd Michigan

Shepherd MI Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Shepherd MI, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 also. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of Medical Assistants

The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Shepherd MI hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Providing general support during exams and procedures

Even though Shepherd MI medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Michigan law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Education and Certification

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Shepherd MI employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Shepherd MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps 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 thirty 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.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

CMA working with children in Shepherd MIThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in local Michigan health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Shepherd MI is furnished.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant program alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Shepherd MI or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when researching Michigan schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Shepherd MI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Shepherd MI area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring 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, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Shepherd MI area schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous Michigan medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with local health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Shepherd MI health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task 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 find out what their placement rate is. If a college 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 large network of employers in the Shepherd MI area to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during 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 possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a school in the Shepherd MI area to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Shepherd MI, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program in Shepherd MI

It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges 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, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the kind 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Shepherd MI.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Medical Assistant?

When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask prospects is "What made you decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.

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