How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training in Clay New York
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Clay NY, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Clay NY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Although Clay NY medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under New York 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs and Certification
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Clay NY employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Clay NY employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in local New York health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Clay NY is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Clay NY or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when assessing New York programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Clay NY employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Clay NY area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the Clay NY area colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many New York medical assistant programs offer internship programs with regional medical care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Clay NY healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts in the Clay NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college in the Clay NY area to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Clay NY, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College in Clay NY
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make 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 subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Clay NY.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask prospects is "What made you choose medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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