How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training in North Salem New York
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in North Salem NY, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many prospective students start by evaluating 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may 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 prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the North Salem NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While North Salem NY medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under New York law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs and Certification
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many North Salem NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created 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 typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential North Salem NY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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 sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in area New York healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in North Salem NY is provided.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant program options, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near North Salem NY or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching New York programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective North Salem NY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited North Salem NY area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the North Salem NY area colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous New York medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the North Salem NY health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers in the North Salem NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college in the North Salem NY area to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in North Salem NY, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program in North Salem NY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in North Salem NY.
Why Did You Choose to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask candidates is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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