How to Pick a Medical Assistant Classes in Merrick New York
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Merrick NY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 important issues also. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Merrick NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate 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 nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although Merrick NY medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under New York law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs and Certification
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Merrick NY employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical 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 courses. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical 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 previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Merrick NY employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in local New York medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Merrick NY is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing 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 Merrick NY or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when assessing New York schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Merrick NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited Merrick NY area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring 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 about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Merrick NY area colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of New York medical assistant programs offer internship programs with local medical providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Merrick NY healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers in the Merrick NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school in the Merrick NY area to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Merrick NY, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School in Merrick NY
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Merrick NY.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask applicants is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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