Medical Assistant Training Programs in Wisconsin

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Classes in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Medical Assistant completing internship trainingNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Wisconsin, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Wisconsin clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. 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 providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Wisconsin law, some prefer to specialize in a specific 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 Courses and Certification

Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Wisconsin employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Wisconsin employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, 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 previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

CMA working with children in WisconsinThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in local Wisconsin healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable 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 Wisconsin schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Wisconsin employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited Wisconsin medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the Wisconsin colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous Wisconsin medical assistant schools offer internship programs with area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts in Wisconsin to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school in Wisconsin to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends in Wisconsin, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program in Wisconsin

It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Wisconsin.

Some Cities in Wisconsin That May Be Of Interest

  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Owen WI 54460
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Cornell WI 54732
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Albany WI 53502
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Ripon WI 54971
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Cleveland WI 53015
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Iron Ridge WI 53035
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Wisconsin Dells WI 53965
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Rubicon WI 53078
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Strum WI 54770
  • Medical Assistant Training Programs near Siren WI 54872