How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training in Freeport New York
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Freeport NY, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Freeport NY hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities 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 tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although Freeport NY medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under New York law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Education and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Freeport NY employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied 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 an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Freeport NY employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for individuals who may 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 extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in regional New York medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Freeport NY is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Freeport NY or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching colleges. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when assessing New York schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Freeport NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited Freeport NY area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however 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 junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the Freeport NY area schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of New York medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with local healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Freeport NY healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts in the Freeport NY area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program in the Freeport NY area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Freeport NY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all 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 responsibilities.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training in Freeport NY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Freeport NY.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask candidates is "What drove you to choose medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to medical assisting, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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