How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training in Bethpage New York
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Bethpage NY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided 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 role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Bethpage NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Bethpage NY medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under New York law, some prefer 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
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Bethpage NY employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Bethpage NY employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in local New York medical care 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 might be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Bethpage NY is furnished.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Bethpage NY or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when researching New York schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, 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, a number of prospective Bethpage NY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited Bethpage NY area medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out 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 choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the Bethpage NY area schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of New York medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with local medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Bethpage NY health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating 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 healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers in the Bethpage NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school in the Bethpage NY area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Bethpage NY, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant School in Bethpage NY
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Bethpage NY.
Why Did You Want to Be a Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask candidates is "What drove you to decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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