How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program in Wayne Michigan
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Wayne MI, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Wayne MI hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although Wayne MI medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Michigan law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Courses and Certification
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Wayne MI employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few 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 obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Wayne MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained 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, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses 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 met, but they can often be completed in area Michigan medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Wayne MI is furnished.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Wayne MI or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when evaluating Michigan programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Wayne MI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Wayne MI area medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the Wayne MI area colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of Michigan medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Wayne MI healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer 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 suggests that it has a broad network of contacts in the Wayne MI area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college in the Wayne MI area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Wayne MI, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training in Wayne MI
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information 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 upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Wayne MI.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask prospects is "What made you select medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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