How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training in Long Island City New York
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Long Island City NY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might decide to take a look at some 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 qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Long Island City NY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though Long Island City NY medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under New York law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Training Programs and Certification
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Long Island City NY employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 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 usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Long Island City NY employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for those 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 option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in regional New York healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Long Island City NY is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Long Island City NY or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching New York schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Long Island City NY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Long Island City NY area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the Long Island City NY area colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many New York medical assistant schools offer internship programs with area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Long Island City NY medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts in the Long Island City NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school in the Long Island City NY area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Long Island City NY, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training in Long Island City NY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Long Island City NY.
Why Did You Want to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask candidates is "What made you pick medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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