How to Select a Medical Assistant Program in Eastchester New York
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Eastchester NY, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Eastchester NY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending 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 tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although Eastchester NY medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under New York law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs and Certification
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Eastchester NY employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade 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 classes. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Eastchester NY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in regional New York medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Eastchester NY is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Eastchester NY or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when assessing New York schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, 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 Eastchester NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Eastchester NY area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the Eastchester NY area colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many New York medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with regional medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Eastchester NY medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some 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 higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers in the Eastchester NY area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college in the Eastchester NY area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Eastchester NY, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program in Eastchester NY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether 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 get the right info 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 on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Eastchester NY.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask prospects is "What made you decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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