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Become a Medical Assistant Boyle Heights CA 90033

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Boyle Heights California

Boyle Heights CA medical assistant with medical chartNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Boyle Heights CA, it's time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students start 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let's talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Function of Medical Assistants

Boyle Heights CA medical assistant taking blood pressure reading of patient

The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Boyle Heights CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may 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 health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some choose 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

Boyle Heights CA medical assistant greeting patientIn contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Boyle Heights CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we'll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at California junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Schools

Boyle Heights California student attending medical assistant online schoolThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for California students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Boyle Heights CA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Boyle Heights CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
 

 

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Boyle Heights CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Boyle Heights CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of California accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring 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 about 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the California colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Boyle Heights CA area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Boyle Heights healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Boyle Heights CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness 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 program while you continue working full time, it's important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Choose the Right Boyle Heights CA Medical Assistant SchoolCourse

It's imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you're objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Boyle Heights CA.