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Become a Medical Assistant Claremont CA 91711

How to Pick an Accredited CMA Training Program near Claremont California

Claremont CA medical assistant with medical chartOnce you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Claremont CA, it's time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your "maybe" list. But prior to starting 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 Study to Become a Medical Assistant?

When prepping to interview for a Medical Assistant position near Claremont CA, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Medical Assistant candidates is "What made you choose health care as a profession?" What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a CMA, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to medical assistance, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding healthcare provider and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

Claremont CA CMA measuring blood pressure reading of patient

The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is ensure that the Claremont CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential 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 tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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

Claremont CA medical assistant welcoming patient on crutchesIn contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Claremont CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered 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 liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Claremont CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps 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, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Schools

Claremont California woman attending medical assistant school onlineThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for California students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Claremont CA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Claremont 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 factors that you must look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Claremont CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? 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 must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating 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 one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the California schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Claremont CA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Claremont medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Claremont CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts 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 furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it's essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Claremont CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Claremont CA Medical Assistant Program

It's essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you're objective is to begin 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 schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Claremont CA.