Medical Assistant Training Programs near Inglewood CA 90301

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School in Inglewood California

Inglewood CA Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Inglewood CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to 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 kind of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of Medical Assistants

The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Inglewood CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

While Inglewood CA medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some choose 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs and Certification

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Inglewood CA employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical 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 training. They often have a practical element 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 stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Inglewood CA employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

CMA working with children in Inglewood CAThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good option for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in local California medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Inglewood CA is furnished.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Inglewood CA or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when evaluating California programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. First, 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified 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, many prospective Inglewood CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Inglewood CA area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in 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 evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the Inglewood CA area colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous California 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 assist students build relationships within the Inglewood CA medical 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 first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer 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 medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in the Inglewood CA area to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program in the Inglewood CA area to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Inglewood CA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program in Inglewood CA

It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Inglewood CA.

Why Did You Decide to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?

When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What compelled you to pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.

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