How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School in Cave Junction Oregon
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Cave Junction OR, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished 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 function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Cave Junction OR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although Cave Junction OR medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Oregon law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses and Certification
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Cave Junction OR employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed 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 provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Cave Junction OR employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the time to go to 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 pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in area Oregon health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Cave Junction OR is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant program options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Cave Junction OR or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when researching Oregon schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive 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 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Cave Junction OR employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited Cave Junction OR area medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining 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 closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the Cave Junction OR area schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous Oregon medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with regional medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Cave Junction OR healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers in the Cave Junction OR area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college in the Cave Junction OR area to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Cave Junction OR, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Program in Cave Junction OR
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the proper 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 must obtain the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cave Junction OR.
Why Did You Decide to Become a CMA?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask candidates is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a CMA, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in Oregon That May Be Of Interest