How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training in Glenmont New York
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Glenmont NY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Glenmont NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based 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 providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While Glenmont NY medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under New York law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses and Certification
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Glenmont NY employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Glenmont NY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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 apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in regional New York health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Glenmont NY is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Glenmont NY or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching colleges. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when researching New York programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Glenmont 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 Glenmont NY area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want 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. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Glenmont NY area colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many New York medical assistant programs offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Glenmont NY healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding 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 provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts in the Glenmont NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Glenmont NY area to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Glenmont NY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program in Glenmont NY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate 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 life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Glenmont NY.
Why Did You Decide to Become a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask applicants is "What made you pick medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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