Home >> California >> Beverly Hills >> Medical Assistant Programs Near Me


Become a Medical Assistant Beverly Hills CA 90209

How to Enroll In an Accredited CMA Training Program near Beverly Hills California

Beverly Hills CA medical assistant holding patient chartNow that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Beverly Hills CA, it's time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let's talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

Beverly Hills CA medical assistant taking vital signs of patient

The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Beverly Hills CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific 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 Training Courses

Beverly Hills CA CMA opening door for patientUnlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Beverly Hills CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we'll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at California community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Beverly Hills CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided 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. Other certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

Beverly Hills CA woman attending medical assistant program onlineThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for California students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Beverly Hills CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Beverly Hills CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Beverly Hills CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose 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 closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the California colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Beverly Hills CA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Beverly Hills health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Beverly Hills CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it's important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Choose the Right Beverly Hills CA Medical Assistant Training

It's important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you're objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan 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 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 ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Beverly Hills CA.