How to Select a Medical Assistant Training in Woodbury New Jersey
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Woodbury NJ, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Woodbury NJ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although Woodbury NJ medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under New Jersey law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Courses and Certification
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Woodbury NJ employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational 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 component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Woodbury NJ employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify 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, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in local New Jersey medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Woodbury NJ is provided.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Woodbury NJ or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential 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 factors that you should explore when researching New Jersey programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 accepted agencies 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Woodbury NJ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited Woodbury NJ area medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the Woodbury NJ area schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous New Jersey medical assistant programs offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Woodbury NJ medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts in the Woodbury NJ area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college in the Woodbury NJ area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Woodbury NJ, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant School in Woodbury NJ
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right 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 selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Woodbury NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask prospects is "What made you select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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