Home >> Arizona >> Flagstaff >> Medical Assistant Programs


Receive Free Information on Medical Assistant Programs Flagstaff AZ 86001

How to Find the Best Medical Assistant Program Near Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff Arizona medical assistant carrying patient recordsNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Flagstaff AZ, it's time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let's briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

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

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

Flagstaff Arizona medical assistant greeting patient on crutches

So what do medical assistants do? These professionals typically work in Flagstaff AZ physicians’ offices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers. They’re responsible for both clinical and administrative tasks, taking on varied responsibilities such as answering phones; managing appointment schedules; maintaining patient records; greeting patients; coding medical information; processing billing and bookkeeping; coordinating services with other healthcare providers; recording medical histories; collecting lab samples; cleaning examination rooms; and doing basic lab tests. Some of these healthcare professionals may even draw blood, administer medication, perform electrocardiograms, remove stitches, discard biohazardous waste, and change wound dressings. These duties vary based on experience, specialized training, certification, and even state of practice.

Medical Assistant Training Courses

Flagstaff Arizona medical assistant reading to senior man in nursing homeCompared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Flagstaff AZ health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 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 idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Flagstaff AZ medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

Flagstaff Arizona young female attending online medical assistant classesThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Flagstaff AZ area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Flagstaff AZ with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Flagstaff AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Flagstaff AZ area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Flagstaff health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Flagstaff AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it's important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Train to Be a Certified Medical Assistant in Flagstaff

Enroll in the Right Flagstaff Medical Assistant College

It's imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you're objective is to launch a career in medical 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 selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Flagstaff Arizona.




 

Flagstaff Certified Medical Assistant Programs | Flagstaff Medical Assistant Programs | Flagstaff Medical Assistant Programs Near Me