Home >> Alabama >> Foley >> Medical Assistant Degrees


Get Free Info on Medical Assistant Training Classes Foley AL 36530

How to Enroll In the Best Medical Assistant Program Near Foley Alabama

Foley Alabama CMA carrying patient chartOnce you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Foley AL, it's time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by researching 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 factors also. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges 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 offered.

It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Medical Assistant Career Below!

The Role of a Medical Assistant

Foley Alabama CMA holding door for patient using crutches

A Medical Assistant is a highly important and varied position within the Alabama healthcare field. Broadly speaking, a Medical Assistant is responsible for working alongside Foley physicians and nurses to provide support in administrative and clinical duties. In smaller practices, Medical Assistants will typically be involved in both administrative and clinical work. While in larger practices, Medical Assistants will often be devoted to one area or another and be highly specialized in their individual duties. Whatever role a Medial Assistant plays, it is vital to the overall organization and central to timely and appropriate care of patients.

Medical Assistant Courses

Foley Alabama medical assistant reading to senior patient in assisted living facilityUnlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Foley AL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we'll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with 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 courses. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Foley AL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

Foley Alabama young female attending online medical assistant classesThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Foley AL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Foley AL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Foley AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. 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 example, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means 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 Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain 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 opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Foley AL area medical providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Foley health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Foley AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may 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 offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Foley AL, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Foley

Enroll in the Right Foley Medical Assistant School

It's essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you're goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on 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 agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Foley Alabama.




 

Foley Medical Assistant Classes | Foley Medical Assistant Degrees | Foley Online Medical Assistant Programs