How to Select a Medical Assistant Classes in Huntington Station New York
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant program in Huntington Station NY, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Huntington Station NY hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although Huntington Station NY medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under New York law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs and Certification
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Huntington Station NY employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few 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 acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Huntington Station NY employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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 apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in area New York medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Huntington Station NY is furnished.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant program alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Huntington Station NY or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when evaluating New York schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training 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 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Huntington Station NY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Huntington Station NY area medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the Huntington Station NY area schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of New York medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with local medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Huntington Station NY health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts in the Huntington Station NY area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school in the Huntington Station NY area to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Huntington Station NY, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training in Huntington Station NY
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Huntington Station NY.
Why Did You Desire to Become a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask candidates is "What made you pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Cities in New York That May Be Of Interest