How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program in Harriman New York
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Harriman NY, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future 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 cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Harriman NY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although Harriman NY medical assistants can 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 choices available 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
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Harriman NY employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Harriman NY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in area New York medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Harriman NY is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Harriman NY or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when researching New York programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Harriman NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited Harriman NY area medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the Harriman NY area schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of New York medical assistant programs offer internship programs with area medical providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Harriman NY health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts in the Harriman NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller 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 possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school in the Harriman NY area to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Harriman NY, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Select the Right Medical Assistant School in Harriman NY
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Harriman NY.
Why Did You Want to Be a Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask candidates is "What drove you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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