How to Choose a Medical Assistant Course in Pottersville New Jersey
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Pottersville NJ, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Pottersville NJ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Pottersville NJ medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under New Jersey law, some opt 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs and Certification
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Pottersville NJ employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Pottersville NJ employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably 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 be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in area New Jersey healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Pottersville NJ is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Pottersville NJ or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when evaluating New Jersey schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Pottersville NJ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Pottersville NJ area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, 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. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the Pottersville NJ area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous New Jersey medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with area healthcare providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Pottersville NJ health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers in the Pottersville NJ 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 get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school in the Pottersville NJ area to witness what the teaching atmosphere 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 to work full time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Pottersville NJ, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, 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 Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Pottersville NJ
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools 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, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind 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 ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Pottersville NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask prospects is "What drove you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Cities in New Jersey That May Be Of Interest