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Become a Medical Assistant Claremont CA 91711

How to Pick the Best Medical Assistant School Program near Claremont California

Claremont CA medical assistant with medical chartOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Claremont CA, it's time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your "maybe" list. But prior to starting that review, let's briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Function of Medical Assistants

Claremont CA CMA taking vital signs of patient

The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Claremont CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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

Claremont CA CMA welcoming patient on crutchesCompared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Claremont CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at California junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

Claremont CA student attending medical assistant online programThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for California students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Claremont CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Claremont CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
 

 

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Claremont CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Claremont CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college's program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the California colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Claremont CA area healthcare providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Claremont health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Claremont CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Claremont CA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may 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.

Choose the Right Claremont CA Medical Assistant SchoolCourse

It's essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you're goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Claremont CA.