How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Course in Franklin Wisconsin
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Franklin WI, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all 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 credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is ensure that the Franklin WI clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible 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 rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although Franklin WI medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Wisconsin law, some elect 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 Courses and Certification
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Franklin WI employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with 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 classes. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Franklin WI employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps 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 exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in area Wisconsin healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Franklin WI is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant program options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Franklin WI or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when researching Wisconsin programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Franklin WI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Franklin WI area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the Franklin WI area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many Wisconsin medical assistant schools offer internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Franklin WI health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts in the Franklin WI area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school in the Franklin WI area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Franklin WI, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course in Franklin WI
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Franklin WI.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask applicants is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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