How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program in Accord New York
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Accord NY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Accord NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though Accord NY medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under New York law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Training and Certification
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Accord NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire 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 designed 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 usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Accord NY employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in local New York healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Accord NY is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Accord NY or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when researching New York programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Accord NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited Accord NY area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the Accord NY area colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous New York medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Accord NY medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates 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 school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers in the Accord NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller 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 monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Accord NY area to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Accord NY, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training in Accord NY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Accord NY.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask candidates is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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