Home >> Alabama >> Northport >> Certified Medical Assistant Programs


Get Free Information on Medical Assistant Courses Northport AL 35406

How to Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Near Northport Alabama

Northport Alabama CMA holding patient recordsOnce you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Northport AL, it's time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your "maybe" list. But before we start that review, let's talk a little bit about the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

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

Medical Assistant Programs

Northport Alabama CMA reading to senior man in assisted living facilityUnlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Northport AL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Northport AL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained 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, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

Northport Alabama young female attending online medical assistant trainingThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Northport AL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Northport AL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Northport AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in 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 just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Northport AL area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Northport health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Northport AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

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

Train to Be a Certified Medical Assistant in Northport

Enroll in the Right Northport Medical Assistant School

It's imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you're planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Northport Alabama.




 

Northport Online Medical Assistant Programs | Northport Certified Medical Assistant Programs | Northport Medical Assistant Programs