How to Choose a Medical Assistant Classes in Ticonderoga New York
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Ticonderoga NY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Ticonderoga NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners 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 filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though Ticonderoga NY medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under New York law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses and Certification
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Ticonderoga NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical 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 classes. They frequently have a clinical component 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 similar field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Ticonderoga NY employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in area New York medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Ticonderoga NY is provided.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Ticonderoga NY or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when assessing New York programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Ticonderoga NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited Ticonderoga NY area medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn 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 choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the Ticonderoga NY area colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous New York medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Ticonderoga NY healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges 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 health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts in the Ticonderoga NY area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school in the Ticonderoga NY area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends in Ticonderoga NY, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Ticonderoga NY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be 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 start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Ticonderoga NY.
Why Did You Want to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask prospects is "What made you select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a CMA, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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