How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training in Rumney New Hampshire
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Rumney NH, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many prospective students begin by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Rumney NH clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Rumney NH medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under New Hampshire law, some elect 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Rumney NH employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Rumney NH employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may 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 earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in local New Hampshire healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Rumney NH is provided.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Rumney NH or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing colleges. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when researching New Hampshire programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great 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 extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Rumney NH employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Rumney NH area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn 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 obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the Rumney NH area schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous New Hampshire medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with area medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Rumney NH health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts in the Rumney NH area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school in the Rumney NH area to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends in Rumney NH, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant School in Rumney NH
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical 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 colleges offering 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 an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Rumney NH.
Why Did You Decide to Become a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask applicants is "What drove you to select medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in New Hampshire That May Be Of Interest