How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Course in Logan Utah
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Logan UT, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Logan UT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based 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 tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though Logan UT medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Utah law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options 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
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Logan UT employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Logan UT employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in regional Utah health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Logan UT is provided.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant program options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus near Logan UT or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing Utah schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Logan UT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited Logan UT area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, 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 instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the Logan UT area schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of Utah medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Logan UT healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers in the Logan UT area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school in the Logan UT area to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Logan UT, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Program in Logan UT
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. 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 addressed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Logan UT.
Why Did You Desire to Be a CMA?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask candidates is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in Utah That May Be Of Interest