How manty years of training are needed to qualify for medical assistant career certification?

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Answered by: Joanne, An Expert in the Professional and Job Certifications Category
Since a career in medical assisting requires training beyond a high school education, it is important to choose the right school to fit your needs. Cost should not be the sole determining factor. There are excellent programs available at modestly priced schools. Talk to representatives at schools that interest you. Visit classes if possible and talk to instructors; if at all possible, talk to current students. Discuss classes required, texts and their costs, and investigate the possibility of financial assistance. Although federal financial aid is usually not available for noncredit training, there may be scholarship money available through the school in the Continuing Education office.

You may also look into the opportunities for part-time enrollment. Are there night as well as daytime programs? Will I be able to keep working part time in addition to attending classes? Are internships available in the medical assistant program? If so, where, how long, and who sets up the internships. You may want to do further research as to whether your personality and likes meld with a medical assistant career. Many schools offer the opportunity to be tested free of charge to match your likes/dislikes and personality traits to various careers. Schools that have a career counseling area are more than happy to provide these services to prospective students.

Once you have determined that medical assisting is the career for you, discuss with the school representative whether or not you will need a professional certification to be eligible for medical assisting jobs. You will no doubt find that although not required, certification is very important in finding the right job. Find out what is required to qualify. Does the school set up testing and preparation programs? What is the cost?

Most school that offer certification will, in fact, do prep classes, will provide you with information to register for testing, give you information on cost and how to make payment, and often will be the site for the test. If you do not pass the test the first time, are there opportunities for retesting? Will the information be available to possible employers or will that information be confidential unless I reveal it to prospective employers?

Remember, finding the right school is paramount to your success. Look for schools whose classes are kept relatively small so that instructors have time for individual attention and assistance. In talking with instructors, you should be able to tell whether they are inclined to spend extra time with students who may be having difficulty and need some additional time and attention. Perhaps you may find if study groups are available.

Talking with students currently in the medical assistant career program will help you in this. regard. Are the students currently in classes friendly with each other, and are they quick to assist each other? In most programs, students spend most of the day together, moving from class to class as a group. They usually become very close and work together well. This is just what you are looking for!

All in all, the medical assistant career opportunities are plentiful and rewarding. Spending time to find the right program for you is worth the time and effort.

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