How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program in Burlington Kentucky
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Burlington KY, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes 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 important factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Burlington KY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. 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 tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Burlington KY medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kentucky law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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 Programs and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Burlington KY employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Burlington KY employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in local Kentucky healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Burlington KY is furnished.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant program options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Burlington KY or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when researching Kentucky programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Burlington KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited Burlington KY area medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain 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 elect to enroll in, make certain that the Burlington KY area schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous Kentucky medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Burlington KY medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching 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 a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in the Burlington KY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college in the Burlington KY area to experience 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 program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Burlington KY, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training 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 issues.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training in Burlington KY
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Burlington KY.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask applicants is "What made you pick medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Medical Assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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