How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Classes in Globe Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Globe AZ, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Globe AZ 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though Globe AZ medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Arizona law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs and Certification
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Globe AZ employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical 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 similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Globe AZ 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) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in regional Arizona health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Globe AZ is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant program alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Globe AZ or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when researching Arizona schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Globe AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited Globe AZ area medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the Globe AZ area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many Arizona medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Globe AZ healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding 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 provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers in the Globe AZ area to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program in the Globe AZ area to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Globe AZ, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Globe AZ
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. 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 especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type 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 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 Globe AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What made you choose medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Arizona That May Be Of Interest