How to Select a Medical Assistant Training in Glassboro New Jersey
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Glassboro NJ, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Glassboro NJ clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate 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 can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While Glassboro NJ medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under New Jersey law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Glassboro NJ employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options 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 generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals 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 provided at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Glassboro NJ employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in area New Jersey medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Glassboro NJ is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant program alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Glassboro NJ or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing New Jersey programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Glassboro NJ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Glassboro NJ area medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Glassboro NJ area schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of New Jersey medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with local health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Glassboro NJ health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts in the Glassboro NJ area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program in the Glassboro NJ area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Glassboro NJ, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training in Glassboro NJ
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on 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 online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Glassboro NJ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask candidates is "What made you pick medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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