How to Select a Medical Assistant School in Great River New York
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Great River NY, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Great River NY clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical 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 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 submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though Great River NY medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under New York law, some opt to specialize in a particular 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 Programs and Certification
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Great River NY employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Great River NY employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in local New York healthcare 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 might be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Great River NY is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Great River NY or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing colleges. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when evaluating New York programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Great River NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Great River NY area medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive 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 obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Great River NY area schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous New York medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with local medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Great River NY healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers in the Great River NY area to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program in the Great River NY area to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Great River NY, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program in Great River NY
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges 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, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Great River NY.
Why Did You Decide to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask applicants is "What drove you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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