Home >> California >> Camarillo >> Medical Assistant Programs Near Me


Become a Medical Assistant Camarillo CA 93010

How to Pick an Accredited CMA Program near Camarillo California

Camarillo CA CMA holding patient chartNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Camarillo CA, it's time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your "maybe" list. But prior to starting that review, let's talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

Camarillo CA medical assistant measuring vital signs of patient

The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Camarillo CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type 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 physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

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

While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific 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 Courses

Camarillo CA medical assistant welcoming patientUnlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Camarillo CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 2 year programs available at California community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Schools

Camarillo CA woman attending medical assistant online schoolThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for California students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Camarillo CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Camarillo CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
 

 

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine 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 choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Camarillo CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Camarillo CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the California colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Camarillo CA area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Camarillo health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Camarillo CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's important that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Camarillo CA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Camarillo CA Medical Assistant SchoolCourse

It's essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you're planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don't forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Camarillo CA.