Medical Assistant Training Programs near Glen Head NY 11545

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School in Glen Head New York

Glen Head NY Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Glen Head NY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of Medical Assistants

The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Glen Head NY clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

While Glen Head NY medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized 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

Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Glen Head NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Glen Head NY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

CMA working with children in Glen Head NYThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice 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 option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in regional New York health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Glen Head NY is provided.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Glen Head NY or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest 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 issues that you must explore when researching New York programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate 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 prospective Glen Head NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Glen Head NY area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine 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 want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the Glen Head NY area colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous New York medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with regional health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Glen Head NY medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in the Glen Head NY area to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Glen Head NY area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Glen Head NY, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need 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 work, illness or family issues.

Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Glen Head NY

It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch 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 selection. There are so many colleges 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 decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical 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 on-campus or online school, be 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 start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Glen Head NY.

Why Did You Want to Become a CMA?

When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What drove you to decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

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