Medical Assistant Training Programs near Dimondale MI 48821

How to Select a Medical Assistant Classes in Dimondale Michigan

Dimondale MI Medical Assistant completing internship trainingOnce you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Dimondale MI, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Function of Medical Assistants

The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Dimondale MI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

While Dimondale MI medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Michigan law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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

In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Dimondale MI employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied 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 choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Dimondale MI employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

CMA working with children in Dimondale MIThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in area Michigan medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Dimondale MI is provided.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Prior to examining your medical assistant program options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Dimondale MI or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the cheapest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should look at when evaluating Michigan schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). 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 applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Dimondale MI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Dimondale MI area medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Dimondale MI area schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of Michigan medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Dimondale MI health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts in the Dimondale MI area to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive 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 practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program in the Dimondale MI area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Dimondale MI, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Pick the Best Medical Assistant Program in Dimondale MI

It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Dimondale MI.

Why Did You Decide to Be a CMA?

When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What drove you to pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.

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