Home >> Arizona >> Flagstaff >> Medical Assistant Schools


Receive Free Information on Medical Assistant Training Flagstaff AZ 86001

How to Enroll In the Best Medical Assistant Program Near Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff Arizona CMA carrying patient chartOnce you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Flagstaff AZ, it's time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your "maybe" list. But before we start that review, let's talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

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

The Function of Medical Assistants

Flagstaff Arizona CMA holding door for patient using crutches

Medical assistants are specially-trained health care providers who work closely with patients, nurses, and doctors and perform a variety of clinical and administrative tasks associated with running a medical office. Clinical duties a medical assistant performs include taking and recording a patient’s vital signs, collecting a patient’s medical history, assisting physicians with patient exams, giving injections or medications as directed by a physician, sterilizing medical supplies and disposing of medical waste. In addition to clinical work, medical assistants perform many administrative tasks such as updating and maintaining patient charts, assisting with medical billing, managing medical records, filing insurance claims and scheduling patient appointments. With a range of duties, Flagstaff AZ medical assistants have the opportunity to participate in many of the day-to-day operations of a medical office, hospital department or private practice.

Medical Assistant Training Courses

Flagstaff Arizona CMA working with senior patient in skilled nursing facilityCompared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Flagstaff AZ health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we'll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few 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 option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor's Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Flagstaff AZ 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). 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. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Online Medical Assistant Courses

Flagstaff Arizona young woman taking online medical assistant classesThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Flagstaff AZ area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Flagstaff AZ with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Flagstaff AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Flagstaff AZ area healthcare providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Flagstaff healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching 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 graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's imperative that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

How 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 choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you're goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Flagstaff Arizona.




 

Flagstaff Medical Assistant Programs Near Me | Flagstaff Medical Assistant Schools | Flagstaff Medical Assistant Schools Near Me