How to Select a Medical Assistant Program in Tarrytown New York
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Tarrytown NY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Tarrytown NY clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although Tarrytown NY medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under New York law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Training 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 Tarrytown NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Tarrytown NY employers simply 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) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in local New York health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Tarrytown NY is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Tarrytown NY or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when assessing New York schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in 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 intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Tarrytown NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Tarrytown NY area medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’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. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting 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 closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive 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, confirm that the Tarrytown NY area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many New York medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with local healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Tarrytown NY medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher 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 broad network of contacts in the Tarrytown NY area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Tarrytown NY area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Tarrytown NY, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may 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.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training in Tarrytown NY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering 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 a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure 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 subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Tarrytown NY.
Why Did You Desire to Become a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask prospects is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a CMA, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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