If you are someone who is trying to enter the job market you will soon realize that jobs are few and far between in many industries. This is a growing problem, and it is one that is only getting worse. However, there are a few industries where jobs are still available, and a few industries that are even growing. One of these industries is the medical industry. And one of the best and most secure jobs you could get in this industry is as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants are employees who help medical professionals in either and administrative or clinical capacity. The trick is, of course, to find the best medical assistant schools and programs in order to make sure that you are being properly qualified for the position. There are several medical assistant schools out there, but you have to make sure that you choose the best one.
Training At A Medical Assistant School
You will soon realize that many positions do not require you to have any training, but you will find it a lot easier to get a job if you do have a qualification form one of the medical assistant schools and programs. With a little more time and effort you can become a certified medical assistant, which will give you a higher status and open up more opportunities for you than you would otherwise have as merely a medical secretary or something similar.
Training at a medical assistant school will qualify you to assist a medical professional or work at a medical institute of practice in the capacity of a clerical or clinical administrator. Because there has been such an enormous growth in the health care sector recently, programs and schools that offer medical assistant training for becoming a medical assistant are becoming increasingly more popular. The growth of this industry is projected to continue, making it a very safe industry and career path to become involved in.
Finding The Best Medical Assistant Schools
In general finding medical assistant schools and programs is as easy as logging on to the internet and clicking a few buttons. There are so many programs out there for you, but finding the best one is a little trickier. Using the internet as a resource to kick-start your career as a medical assistant makes perfect sense, and it is a very easy thing to do.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
Learning online can be easier and it can also open up more doors for you. For example, if you already have a full time job that you are looking to leave, you will be able to study online in the evenings without jeopardizing your position in the employment market. For people who don’t have time or who live too far away from institutes that offer medical assistant programs an online program may the answer and you will soon find that you will be able to complete the qualification easily and quickly.
There are many advantages to studying online:
- The program will be easily accessible
- You will be able to work on your course at any time of the day
- There is a lot more flexibility
- There are usually no time limits and deadlines, or at least not very strict ones
- The fees are usually very reasonable and can be afforded by many people
- The courses will be created with the aid of medical professionals
There are, however, some important things to keep in mind when considering online medical assistant schools:
- Is the school or program accredited and certified? If not then your chances of becoming a medical assistant may be lowered (although in many cases a formal qualification is not a strict requirement)
- There are many different specialized programs, so choose carefully. If you have no interest in dentistry than don’t become a dental assistant
- These types of online courses will usually only offer preeminent training
It is true that you could become a medical assistant by getting a degree at a university or through a vocational school, but if you want to stand the best chance of getting the best jobs in this industry, you should go to an institute or enrol in a program that offers specialized medical assistant training.
Associate Degrees vs. Certificate / Diplomas
There are some important differences between an associate’s degree and a specialized medical assistance degree or certificate.
Associate Degree: Advantages
- You will earn credits towards a Bachelor’s Degree. So this means that you will have the opportunity to study further and go back to school for a stronger qualification. This is something that those applicants looking for a life-long career in the industry should definitely consider. There are many people who have kick-started their careers in this way.
- You will be seen in a better light with an Associate Degree. In general you will be taken more seriously if you have a ‘more serious’ qualification. This is what you will achieve if you get an Associate degree as this means that you are showing prospective employers that you are serious about the job you are applying for and that you want to make the effort to be a great and well-qualified employee.
Associate Degree: Disadvantages
- The time commitment is very high, about 2 years. So if you embark on this degree you will be making quite a long term commitment. It is very important that you consider how much time you able to dedicate to your qualification.
- It is more expensive
- It is more demanding
Certificates And Diplomas: Advantages
- You will get into the job market a whole lot quicker. This means that if you are looking to get a job now, then this is the best course of action for you. This suits people who need to get working as soon as possible.
- It will take less time and money. This is always a big advantage. It is not always possible to pay the high rates that are demanded by universities, so it is a cheap way to get yourself a good and secure job.
Certificates And Diplomas: Disadvantages
- You will not be as highly thought of with this qualification, but bear in mind that you will still most likely be able to get a job. Having an Associate’s degree only increases chances that are already very good.
Basically you can see that there are pros and cons for each of these types of qualifications. The type of school you choose will depend on what your aims are with your course, what you want to achieve and where you want your qualification to take you. The point of your qualification, and such things as whether you plan to do it a temporary job or a full time career, will influence your choice of school greatly.
Important Factors To Keep In Mind When Looking For A Medical Assistant School
It is very important that you make the right decision in this regard. There are a few basic tips that will help guide your decision. Because of the sudden increase in popularity of medical assistant schools, there have been schools that have literally been appearing in a matter of weeks. The quality of these schools may be called into question, and it may be in your best interests to go with a school that is more well-established. However, on the other hand, established schools and programs are becoming swamped with the number of new applicants and are struggling to accommodate them. Finding the best school can therefore be quite a challenging task.
Online Studies. Do you want to study online? There are many opportunities out there for students who want to engage in distance learning through online courses. In this modern day and age it is not always necessary for you to actually go to a university or institute in order to complete your qualification. This is perfect for people who don’t have time. However, there are also many advantages to studying offline, such as having access directly to lecturers and teachers and being in an environment where you can interact and learn together with other students. In both cases you need to check that the school you are considering is certified and that they have a good reputation, whether you decide to study online or offline. However, once you have made this first choice, you will be able to minimize the number of schools that you need to consider.
Standard of Education. What kind of teachers does the medical assistant school provide? Obviously you want to go to a school where the teachers have a good reputation. You want only the best. You will not always be able to afford the best schools, but remember that there are plenty of medical assistant schools out there that are affordable, and that also have excellent teachers. You just need to take the time to consider all of the options and look for the perfect school for you. This ties in with the quality of the medical assistant programs offered. It is very important that you attend a school that will provide you with the qualifications, skills and knowledge you need to do your job as a medical assistant well. Look for schools where students and teachers are screened for suitability rather than schools where anyone is accepted, because this may indicate lower quality and standards.
What is your budget? There is a belief that the more expensive the school the better the school is. However, this is not always true. Many schools trade on their name rather than on their quality. Most people are working within a budget, and it is definitely possible to find an excellent medical assistant school or program at an affordable rate. You need to look at what past pupils from the school have achieved as that is a better indication of the school’s quality than the price of the tuition.
Qualification. You need to be sure of what sort of qualifications your state requires for you to work. These qualifications vary drastically. Some states will accept practically any program or certificate related to becoming a medical assistant, while others have very strict rules indeed. Make sure that you know what sort of qualifications you are aiming for before embarking on a course. This will save you time and money in the long run.
Time Frame. The amount of time you want to commit to a program will also guide your choice. Most formal programs will take one to two years, while on the other hand you will find many online programs that will claim to qualify you in a matter of weeks, usually no more than eight. This of course also has an effect on the quality of the program, so you need to decide if money and time are more important than quality.
Keep the Curriculum in Mind. There are some basic things that you will have to learn to become a medical assistant. If these are things that don’t interest you, then you should probably consider pursuing a different qualification. On the medical side of things you will most likely have to study such subjects as pharmacology, lab techniques and procedures, first aid, physiology, CPR, anatomy and medical terminology, while on the administrative side you will most likely have to learn the skill of keeping records and books, doing insurance coding, and doing medical billing and coding. Some programs will vary, but these are the basics.
Certification. Remember that graduation does not equal certification. You will still have to apply with the appropriate bodies, namely the American Association of Medical Assistants, and the American Medical Technologists. You will then have to sit an exam electronically to become certified. This is an important step in your qualification so don’t forget about it.
Job Offers? Some schools will help you find a job after you have completed training. If the school meets all of your other requirements than this may be a useful criterion to use in order to make your final decision. Anything that makes it easier for you to enter the workforce should be treated as a bonus.
In short, this is not a decision you should make lightly. Any education you embark on must be considered carefully. You need to be certain that you are making the best choice possible; otherwise you will have wasted your time and money.