Medical Assistant Training Programs in Utah

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program in Utah

Utah Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Utah, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Utah clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Utah law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Courses and Certification

In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Utah employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Utah employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

CMA working with children in UtahThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in area Utah health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when researching Utah schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Utah employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Utah medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn 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 obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the Utah schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many Utah medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with regional health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in Utah to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school in Utah to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends in Utah, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course in Utah

It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information 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 discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Utah.

Some Cities in Utah That May Be Of Interest

  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Santaquin UT 84655
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Ephraim UT 84627
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near West Jordan UT 84084
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Toquerville UT 84774
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Pine Valley UT 84781
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Orem UT 84057
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Kaysville UT 84037
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Midway UT 84049
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Orangeville UT 84537
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Springville UT 84663