Home >> California >> Baldwin Park >> Medical Assistant Schools Near Me


Become a Medical Assistant Baldwin Park CA 91706

How to Find an Accredited CMA Training School near Baldwin Park California

Baldwin Park CA CMA holding patient chartOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Baldwin Park CA, it's time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You might choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your "maybe" list. But before we start that review, let's talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

Why Train to Be a Medical Assistant?

When getting ready to interview for a Medical Assistant job near Baldwin Park CA, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Medical Assistant prospects is "What compelled you to decide on health care as a profession?" What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a CMA, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assistance, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent healthcare provider and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

Baldwin Park CA CMA taking blood pressure reading of patient

The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Baldwin Park CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run 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 tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available 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

Baldwin Park CA medical assistant greeting patient on crutchesIn contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Baldwin Park CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at California junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually 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 four year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Baldwin Park CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

Baldwin Park California student attending medical assistant classes onlineThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice 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 choice for California students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Baldwin Park CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Baldwin Park CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Baldwin Park CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? The majority of California accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the California colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Baldwin Park CA area health care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Baldwin Park healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Baldwin Park CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

Enroll in the Right Baldwin Park CA Medical Assistant Training

It's imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you're goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Baldwin Park CA.