Medical Assistant Training Programs near Redmond WA 98052

How to Select a Medical Assistant School in Redmond Washington

Redmond WA Medical Assistant completing internship trainingNow that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Redmond WA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select 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 process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Redmond WA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during examinations and procedures

Although Redmond WA medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Washington law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training and Certification

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Redmond WA employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with 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 training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Redmond WA 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 respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

CMA working with children in Redmond WAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working 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 costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in regional Washington medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Redmond WA is provided.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant program options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Redmond WA or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when assessing Washington programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Redmond WA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Redmond WA area medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the Redmond WA area schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many Washington medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Redmond WA healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers in the Redmond WA area to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college in the Redmond WA area to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Redmond WA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course in Redmond WA

It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. 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 choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Redmond WA.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Medical Assistant?

When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask applicants is "What made you decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting 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 talents you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

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