Healthcare 101: Medical Terminology for Beginners

Whether you’re starting work as a medical professional, a patient in a doctor’s office or considering a healthcare career, it can sometimes be hard to follow an experienced doctor’s explanations. That’s because medical terminology uses unfamiliar terms to the average person. Even the simplest words and phrases can sound like a foreign language. If you can relate, this article on basic medical terminology for beginners is sure to help!

How to Study Medical Terminology

If you think medical terminology sounds like another language, that’s because it is! Most medical terms have Greek and Latin roots, sometimes strung together like tongue twisters. So, there’s no reason to feel bad if you find medical terms confusing, as they come from a foreign language.

Still, you can learn some tricks to unlock the meaning of these complex terms. Medical terms have three essential components — root words, prefixes and suffixes. Some terms only consist of a root word and suffix or prefix and root word. When all three components are together, the typical structure is prefix + root word + suffix. Once you learn the meanings of common medical prefixes, suffixes and root words, you can decode medical terms by breaking them into their different components and understanding them through association.

For example, if you break the term “hypothyroidism” into its prefix, root word and suffix, you get hypo + thyroid + ism. The prefix “hypo” means below, beneath or deficient. Thyroid is the root term for the thyroid gland, while the suffix “ism” refers to a process or condition. Through association, you can decipher that term as a condition where someone has a deficient thyroid gland.

Since the root words form the foundation of a medical term’s meaning, it makes the most sense to start there. As such, here are some common root words in medical terminology.

  • Angi or vaso: Blood vessel
  • Append: Appendix
  • Brachi: Arm
  • Bronch or laryng: Airways or windpipe
  • Carcin/o: Cancer
  • Cardi/o: Heart
  • Carp: Wrist
  • Chol: Bile or gallbladder
  • Chondr: Cartilage
  • Cost: Rib
  • Crani: Skull
  • Cyto: Cell
  • Derma: Skin
  • Esophago: Esophagus
  • Gastro: Stomach or abdomen
  • Gyne/o: Female
  • Hepat: Liver
  • Histio: Tissue
  • Hyster: Uterus
  • Malign: Bad or harmful
  • My/o: Muscles
  • Neuro: Nerves
  • Nephro: Kidney
  • Ocul/o: Eye
  • Onco: Mass or tumor
  • Or: Mouth
  • Osse, osso or oste: Bone or bony tissue
  • Pneum or pulmon: Breath, air or lung
  • Pod or ped: Foot
  • Renal: Kidney
  • Spondyl: Vertebra
  • Steth or thorac: Chest

Most Common Prefixes/Prefix Change

Medical prefixes have various purposes. Some designate when or where the condition or procedure occurs, while others indicate a condition’s behavior or characteristics, such as the size, function or quantity. With that in mind, here are some medical prefixes indicating position, location or direction:

  • Ab-, which means away from
  • Ad-, implying toward
  • Acro-, which demonstrates top or extremities
  • Ante-, signifying before or forward
  • Anti or anter-, indicating opposing or against
  • Ap- or apo-, meaning away from or detached
  • Cirum- or peri-, which means around
  • Co, con or com, indicating together or with
  • De-, which signifies down, from or lacking
  • Dia-, meaning through or apart
  • Ecto-, which means outside
  • Epi-, meaning upon
  • Extra- or extro-, which indicates beyond or outside of
  • Inter-, which means between
  • Intra-, meaning within or inside
  • Intro-, signifying into or within
  • Meta-, which suggests after or beyond
  • Pre- or pro-, meaning before or in front of
  • Poro-, which means pore, opening or passing through
  • Post- or postero-, which signifies after, following or behind
  • Sub-, meaning under
  • Topo-, illustrating place or position
  • Trans-, which means through or across

Some common medical prefixes signifying when a condition occurs or its speed and rate of activity include:

  • Ante-, meaning before.
  • Brady-, signifying slow.
  • Chron-, indicating a long time.
  • Re-, which means again.
  • Retro-, which shows back or backward.
  • Tachy-, which signifies fast.

As for medical prefixes that have to do with size or quantity, these include:

  • A- or an-, signifying absence or without.
  • Bi-, di- or dipl-, meaning two, twice or double.
  • Equi-, indicating equal.
  • Hemi- or semi-, which means half or half of.
  • Macro-, signifying large.
  • Meso-, which indicates middle size.
  • Micro-, which means tiny or small.
  • Mono-, meaning one or single.
  • Multi- or poly-, which signifies many.
  • Pan-, indicating total or all.
  • Quad-, which means four.
  • Tri-, meaning three.
  • Ultra-, indicating excessive or beyond.

Medical prefixes concerning procedural or conditional behavior or characteristics include:

  • Acu-, meaning sharp or severe.
  • Chemo-, which represents chemical.
  • Encephal/o-, which refers to the brain.
  • Estro-, meaning female.
  • Fibro-, which refers to fibers.
  • Hemat/o-, referring to blood.
  • Hyper-, meaning above, excessive or beyond.
  • Hypo-, which indicates below, beneath or deficient.
  • Secto-, meaning to cut.

Most Common Suffixes/Suffix Change

In general, medical suffixes refer to a procedure or a pathology, condition or function. As with prefixes, many of the suffixes help provide context to root medical terms, even though they aren’t unique to medical terminology. Some common medical suffixes of pathology, condition or function include the following.

  • -algia: pain.
  • -ary or -ic: pertaining to.
  • -ase: enzyme.
  • -ation: process.
  • cele: hernia.
  • -clasis: to break.
  • -constriction: narrowing of.
  • -dilation: to expand or stretch.
  • -dynia: pain or discomfort.
  • -edema: swelling or inflammation.
  • -ema: condition.
  • -emia: related to blood.
  • -esis, -iasis or -osis: abnormal condition or disease.
  • -eurysm: expanding or widening.
  • -genic: causing.
  • -globin: protein.
  • -ia: condition.
  • -icle: small, possibly microscopic.
  • -ism: process or condition.
  • -itis: swelling or inflammation.
  • -ly or -lysis: breakdown, deterioration or separation.
  • -mania: obsession.
  • -mortem: death.
  • -oma: mass, tumor or cyst.
  • -one: hormone.
  • -paresis: weakness or failing.
  • -partum: birth.
  • -pathy: emotion or disease.
  • -phasia: speech.
  • -phylaxis: protection.
  • -pnea: breathing.
  • -poiesis: formation.
  • -rrhag, -rrhage or -rrhagia: burst or excessive flow.
  • -rrhea: discharge.
  • -schisis: to split.
  • -somnia: sleep.
  • -spasm: muscle contraction.
  • -stasis: to control or stop.
  • -tropia: to turn.
  • -tropin: to trigger.
  • uria: urine.

Suffixes related to medical procedures include:

  • -ectomy: removal.
  • -graphy: recording of something.
  • -opsy: display of.
  • -pexy: fixation.
  • -plasty: mold or shape.
  • -scopy: examination.
  • -stoma or -stomy: create a new opening.
  • -tomy: the process of cutting or making an incision.
  • -tresia: opening.
  • -tripsis: rub or crush.

Popular Terms

Now, it’s time to put some of those root words, prefixes and suffixes together! Here are a few of the most common medical words to help you get started.

  • Analgesic: Pertaining to the absence of pain, or a substance that takes the pain away.
  • Appendectomy: Surgical removal of the appendix.
  • Bradycardia: A condition where the heart beats too slowly.
  • Carcinoma: A cancerous mass, tumor or cyst.
  • Chronic: A condition that lasts a long time.
  • Osteoporosis: A condition where a person’s bones are too porous.
  • Pericarditis: Inflammation of the tissues surrounding the heart.
  • Thoracotomy: Surgical incision into the chest cavity.

Interested in Entering the Healthcare Field? Request More Info Here!

If this crash course on medical terminology has piqued your interest in working in the healthcare field, AIHT is an excellent place to begin that journey. AIHT equips students with all the essential skills to thrive in applied health sciences. Feel free to request more information on how you can enter the healthcare field with AIHT!

Expectations of a Medical Assistant Externship

Medical assistant (MA) jobs call for an equal amount of theoretical and practical knowledge to find success. Bolster your classroom learning with comprehensive, hands-on training. For this reason, externships are a critical aspect of an MA program. Learn more about what a medical assistant externship is, its benefits and what you can expect with one with this guide.

What Is a Medical Assistant Externship?

An MA externship is an opportunity for students to apply classroom knowledge to a real-world work environment. Externships give students practical, hands-on training before they graduate and enter the workforce. Most accredited MA schools incorporate externships into their programs. Externships for medical assistant students are usually spread throughout the semester. Thus, they often last six to 12 weeks, depending on the school’s arrangement with the employer.

The primary difference between externships and internships is that externships involve unpaid shadowing of an MA professional. An extern observes an MA professional’s daily tasks and responsibilities over an extended period. Comparatively, internships are paid or voluntary positions where the intern performs MA work under supervision.

Why Do You Need It?

Although it’s possible to enter the medical assistant field without an externship, it’s not recommended. A medical assistant externship is valuable for many reasons. As it gives practical experience before entering the workforce, the most significant benefit of a medical assistant externship is helping your resumé stand out to employers during hiring seasons. Externships provide practical experience to balance your textbook learning. This competitive edge can help you land an MA position sooner after graduation.

What Are the Benefits?

Besides a competitive edge and improved career outcomes, externships provide several other benefits. Some other benefits of externships for medical assistant students include:

  • Gaining valuable contacts: As medical externships involve shadowing MA professionals, they let you meet people already working in the industry. These contacts are helpful when looking for a job or a change of scenery. Even if the medical facility has no openings where your contact works, those contacts may be able to direct you to another facility. Connections go a long way in the workforce!
  • Putting theoretical knowledge into action: Soaking up the expert theoretical classroom knowledge is invaluable for MA students. Yet, such learning can become stale if it isn’t implemented. An externship provides an opportunity to put everything you’ve learned about patient care, lab-based tasks and administrative duties into action. Further, you can discuss what you’re learning in class with an industry professional who can share their insight with you. Such insight may help you perform better in your studies!
  • Up-close observation: With a medical externship, you’ll pay close attention to the daily responsibilities of an MA who has worked in the field for years. This shadowing gives you insight into what skills you should focus on to succeed in an MA position. It also allows you the time and space to assess your strengths and aptitude as an MA.
  • Skill development: Besides learning essential MA skills, externships also let you develop those skills before entering the workforce. Thus, you can start your MA career with skills you’ve already begun to develop and hone.
  • Seeing a snapshot of your future: MA externships provide a snapshot of what you can expect in your future as an MA. Such a snapshot can either confirm your desire to become an MA or let you know if another career choice is better for you before committing yourself.

What to Expect From Your Externship

As mentioned, an externship is not the same as an internship. In general, externships require less of students than internships. Whereas internships require you to perform duties as if you had a full-time position, externships involve significant observation and guidance from MA professionals. MA externships allow you to glean as much information and experience as you can from industry professionals before graduating and setting off on your own. Here is some of what to expect from a medical assistant externship.

What Do You Learn?

During your medical assistant externship, you’ll learn what it takes to perform daily MA duties. While classroom learning involves technical MA skills, externships teach you skills like patient empathy and effective communication with patients of varying personalities and medical needs. You’ll also learn about efficient work practices and other interpersonal aspects of MA positions. As you apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world environments, externships may also clarify what you’re classroom learning.

Medical Assistant Externship Duties

During an MA externship, you’ll perform administrative duties, lab assignments and patient care tasks. Here are some specific responsibilities you will likely fulfill during an MA externship:

  • Administer injections and immunizations
  • Collect samples for clinical testing
  • Coordinate with staff to determine supply needs and place orders
  • Discreetly manage sensitive patient information
  • Explain procedures, tests and follow-up instructions to patients
  • Handle billing and insurance claims
  • Log vital signs and medical history reports
  • Manage inventories
  • Prepare patients for examinations
  • Schedule appointments
  • Set up medical equipment
  • Use electronic health record (EHR) systems

How Many Hours Is an Externship for a Medical Assistant?

The number of hours you’ll need to complete an MA externship depends on your state regulations. Thus, externship hours vary with each MA program. At AIHT, our MA externship program involves 225 hours of shadowing an industry professional.

Where Can You Do Your Externship for Medical Assistants?

Most MA schools offer externships, but not all of them do, so you’ll want to research which schools incorporate externships into their MA program before applying. As an accredited institution, AIHT has clinical affiliations with various healthcare facilities where you can complete your MA externship program.

What Challenges Can You Expect?

You can expect challenges with any internship, externship or college program. It’s no different with an MA externship. Still, those challenges help you develop your skills and find ways of reaching higher levels of success as an MA professional. Some common challenges students encounter during MA externships include:

  • Learning to multitask
  • Striking an optimal work-life balance
  • Receiving constructive criticism and growing from it
  • Feeling overwhelmed or out of place, especially at the beginning

Tips for Success

To help you overcome those common challenges, here are some tips for success in an MA externship:

  • Research all your options for externships at various healthcare facilities.
  • Ask your program supervisor and mentor what will be expected of you during the externship.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with your supervising industry professional. Ask them how you’re doing and where you can improve.
  • Soak in all the information directed at you and circulating around you. Pay attention to your supervisor’s duties and those of doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare staff.
  • Be confident. Ask questions to clear up confusion about a specific procedure or task.
  • Be as thorough as possible and maintain a positive attitude as you complete your MA externship responsibilities.
  • Follow up with your supervisor and the healthcare facility at the end of your externship. Thank them for their help and guidance, and let them know you enjoyed your time there.

Visit Our Medical Assistant Page or Request More Info

If you’re from the Connecticut area and are looking for a medical assistant externship near you, we welcome you to consider AIHT! Our applied health and sciences school has an excellent medical assistant program with many externship options. Visit our medical assistant page or contact us to request more info!

8 Benefits of Choosing a Healthcare Training Education

Training programs for healthcare professionals prepare students for a career in the medical field. While numerous programs are available, it’s important to choose a reputable one that meets your unique needs and goals. Many programs are also available depending on the specialty you want to pursue.

A medical training program serves as the foundation for a rewarding career in the medical field. Read our eight reasons to pursue a health career with training and how an educational program can teach you the fundamental skills you need for success.

1. Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Medical training programs enable students to help others. Working in the medical field is rewarding because you can make a real difference in a patient’s life. When patients are sick or unwell, they need friendly, knowledgeable medical professionals to help them get back on their feet.

Students can even start making a positive impact on people’s lives during training. During a medical program, students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in externships working in healthcare facilities with actual patients. Many students fall in love with the medical field during their programs when they see the positive impact they have on patients.

Even if a patient is dealing with a minor medical condition, friendly and helpful medical professionals can still make a big difference in a patient’s life. Training for the medical field requires patience, skill and a high level of compassion and empathy. While honesty is necessary for the healthcare field, tact and bedside manner are just as important to encourage patients and provide hope. You’ll hone those skills in healthcare training.

2. Enjoy Job Security and Compensation

With aging populations across the globe, careers in the medical field are in high demand, meaning compensation is typically competitive and positions are often stable and secure. Medical training provides students with the education and skills they need to enter the healthcare field, leading to the potential for increased job security and competitive compensation.

While many medical professionals earn high wages and competitive salaries, this shouldn’t be the only reason you choose to pursue a career in the healthcare industry. Although competitive compensation is a great benefit, you must also have the drive to learn during a medical training program and pursue a career helping others.

The healthcare field is growing rapidly, and medical programs can prepare students to enter a growing and in-demand industry. A healthcare program provides students with valuable, highly sought-after skills, making them marketable professionals following graduation.

3. Pursue a Career With Growth Opportunities

In addition to learning how to help patients lead a healthier lifestyle, healthcare students can enjoy many opportunities for future development and growth in their careers.

After graduating from a healthcare training program, a broad range of medical opportunities can be available. Within the medical field, there are dozens of specialties you can choose from, meaning there are many ways to advance your career and learn.

On top of specialty, healthcare students can also choose from various facilities to work in, including a doctor’s office, urgent care center, hospital or even a research lab. Because medical care is such a broad, diverse field, you can take your career in any direction you wish after training.

4. Have the Flexibility to Learn and Work Anywhere

Medical professionals are needed all across the world, meaning there are opportunities everywhere for you to pursue during and after training. After graduating from a program, you can seek out unique opportunities worldwide, which can be a great learning experience both professionally and personally.

Because the medical field has many opportunities, a quality healthcare program teaches students how to meet all training, licensing and state requirements. Program instructors are knowledgeable about what state regulations are applicable to specific training programs. Many medical programs also offer flexibility with part-time or full-time class schedules.

5. Aid in Medical Research

Many people choose to enter a medical program to help others. Another way to help others through medical training is working in research. While medicine is as advanced as ever, there is always more for us to learn and develop.

Training for a future in medical research allows you to work with others to make groundbreaking discoveries. A career in a medical lab is an ideal choice for someone who is looking to work a bit more behind the scenes and wants to improve other people’s lives.

6. Take on New Responsibilities

Each day learning and working in the healthcare field brings new and exciting challenges, meaning no two days are exactly alike. Most days, you will meet new patients and learn new symptoms or underlying conditions that require a unique approach or treatment.

Because each day is unique, it helps keep students motivated to learn and grow, as you never know what you may experience one day. Many medical students also work in various facilities during externships, ranging from private offices to emergency rooms and urgent clinics.

During a healthcare training program, students will take on many new responsibilities and learn new skills, including patient health records, medical terminology, anatomy and communication. A training program helps hone these skills while developing new responsibilities.

7. Learn With Smaller Class Sizes

Many healthcare programs offer smaller classes and one-on-one training, providing a personalized learning experience. Traditional colleges and programs often have larger class sizes, meaning students often lack the individual attention they need to learn best.

Smaller class sizes at an accredited healthcare institute prioritize learning and provide the foundation students need for success. Students can learn in a more intimate educational environment where instructors can provide more attention to each student. One-on-one learning minimizes distractions and stress, helping students curate the skills they need for a career in the medical field.

8. Gain Hands-On Experience With Externships

Clinical instruction through externships allows for hands-on, real-time learning, helping students apply their technical skills to real-life applications.

In most cases, externships occur at affiliated and approved healthcare facilities, including hospitals. Externships also help students develop communication skills with other medical professionals and patients. While working in a professional setting during their training, students can develop a sense of the responsibility their future roles will require.

Healthcare Training in Connecticut With AIHT Education

If you are looking for a healthcare training institute near you, AIHT Education provides high-quality education and training programs, preparing students for a career in the allied health sciences field. Our instructors empower students with the skills and knowledge they need.

Some of our most popular medical training programs include cardiovascular technologistcertified nurse assistant and diagnostic medical sonographyRequest information online to learn more about our medical programs and training!

What Does a Career as a Cardiovascular Technologist Look Like?

A cardiovascular technologist is a medical professional who assists physicians in diagnosing patients with cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular technologists use various diagnostic tools to detect and diagnose vascular problems and ailments affecting the arteries, heart or valves. Learn more about how to become a cardiovascular technologist.

What Is a Cardiovascular Technologist?

cardiovascular technologist is a medical professional that helps detect, diagnose and treat conditions related to the blood vessels and heart. Like many medical professionals, cardiovascular technologists spend most of their day on their feet, assisting patients with ultrasound scan of heart and veins.

Because a cardiovascular technologist works directly with patients, communication skills are essential, as well as a strong understanding of the technology used each day. These professionals can specialize in various practice areas, including invasive cardiology, vascular technology and cardiac sonography.

Cardiovascular technologist employment is estimated to grow 14% from 2020 to 2030, an above-average pace compared to all occupations.

What Does a Cardiovascular Technologist Do?

A cardiovascular technologist works directly with physicians to detect and diagnose peripheral vascular and cardiac diseases. They also help cardiologists and physicians deliver prompt treatments while working directly with patients and answering any questions they may have.

Cardiovascular technologists can also assist with any testing or cardiovascular procedures a patient may need. Other responsibilities include monitoring a patient’s heartbeat, scheduling appointments and reviewing documentation.

In addition to working with physicians and patients, cardiovascular technologists work closely with medical equipment and technology and are in charge of assessing and maintaining exam room. Although these are some of the most common tasks, each position is unique, and individuals in this role may also be in charge of other responsibilities when needed.

During a shift, this individual may register patients, update electronic health records and confirm medical history. Cardiovascular technologists may also perform electrocardiograms, non-invasive peripheral vascular tests, treadmill stress tests and more.

Depending on the position, a cardiovascular technologist may also assemble and operate hemodynamic or electrophysiologic equipment like an ECG monitor for interventional and diagnostic purposes. In addition to helping patients, one of the main goals of a cardiovascular technologist is to support physicians with related tasks.

How to Become a Cardiovascular Technologist

You will need to receive a cardiovascular technologist certification to begin your career. Enrolling in a cardiovascular technologist program can help you start a rewarding career working in the medical field. A cardiovascular technologist course is a two-year program with clinical experience, labs and traditional lectures.

During this program, you will learn the fundamental aspects of blood vessel and heart sonography, imaging techniques and some of the most common vascular conditions and ailments that affect the valves, blood vessels, arteries and heart.

A cardiovascular technologist externship provides first-hand experience working in a medical setting with guidance from site supervisors. An externship helps students translate their knowledge into physical skills and gain valuable connections with other professionals in the medical field.

Student externships occur at an affiliated facility and require clinical hours to be performed according to the program’s scheduling requirements. Before enrolling in a cardiovascular technologist program, potential students must hold a high school diploma or equivalent, a passing score on the Wonderlic exam, an interview, a statement of purpose and a minimum requirement of health and technical standards.

Career Outlook

Cardiovascular technologists rank #30 as one of the best health care support jobs. This professional can work in various settings and medical environments. Non-invasive imaging and diagnostics help physicians detect, diagnose and treat different cardiovascular conditions. Additional cardiovascular technologist opportunities are available in lab environments, including electrophysiology and non-invasive cardiovascular labs.

Salary

In 2020, cardiovascular technologists earned an average salary of $59,100. The top 25% highest earners had an average income of $78,170. Generally, cardiovascular technologists with more experience often earn more competitive salaries.

Additionally, cardiovascular technologists who specialize in specific fields may earn a higher income. Location also plays an important role in compensation, with some of the states offering the highest compensation for cardiovascular technologists including New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Job Satisfaction

A cardiovascular technologist is a rewarding career in the medical field with various opportunities to advance and earn a higher salary. While working in the medical field can sometimes be challenging, it is incredibly rewarding to help diagnose and treat various health conditions. This field also offers a healthy work-life balance with alternative scheduling and flexibility.

Unemployment Rate

There is a 7.4% unemployment rate among cardiovascular technologists. In most cases, this professional can work in hospitals, diagnostic labs and doctors’ offices. A lower unemployment rate means many cardiovascular technologists can find a job after completing their program.

Why Become a Cardiovascular Technologist?

Working as a cardiovascular technologist allows you to work with patients experiencing heart or cardiovascular complications. Benefits of becoming a cardiovascular technologist include:

  • Helping people: One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a cardiovascular technologist is working with people and helping them lead a healthy lifestyle. This individual works with a physician to detect potentially life-threatening heart complications and defects. Along with helping patients, these professionals can also develop close relationships with patients and team members.
  • Job opportunities: There are numerous positions available for cardiovascular technologists, meaning many can secure a job as soon as their program ends. Unfortunately, heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Cardiovascular technologists are in high demand to combat the number of cardiovascular complications.
  • Working with children: Depending on the specialty, cardiovascular technologists can work with children, infants or young adults, which can be incredibly rewarding for someone who enjoys working with these age groups. They can also specialize in patients over 65 if they prefer to work with a senior age group.
  • Job satisfaction: Overall, cardiovascular technologists report high job satisfaction, primarily because they can work with others and make a positive change in someone’s life.

Visit Our Program Page for More Info

AIHT Education is a healthcare training school offering cardiovascular technologist training in Connecticut. Our goal is to provide students with quality education and training resources to be successful in the field of allied health sciences.

We empower our students with the values, knowledge and skills needed to be continuous learners. We strive to create an interdisciplinary academic environment built on collaboration, honesty and uniqueness. Our team is dedicated to offering various healthcare programs that prepare graduates for successful careers in the medical field.

Request more information today to learn more about becoming a cardiovascular technologist.

Financial Aid for Medical School





Nowadays, going to college without financial aid is a luxury few can afford. At the same time, attending college can set you up for financial success in the future, so it is an investment-worthy endeavour. Fortunately, financial assistance can help get you there. If you require financial aid for medical school, continue reading our guide below.

Where to Start Your Search for Aid

Considering why you should seek out financial aid for medical school is helpful to an extent, but you also need to know where to look, when to apply, how to go about applying and what documents you need to do so. Here is some information to help you get started on how to get financial aid for medical school.

1. Fill Out the FAFSA Form

The first place any medical student needs to look when seeking financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program, commonly known as FAFSA. Filling out the FAFSA form is a prerequisite to receiving federal grants, loans and work-study programs.

The college you are applying to or attending will use the information you provide in the FAFSA form to determine how much federal aid you are eligible to receive. The program determines that amount based on your dependency status — whether you support yourself financially or are dependent on parental financial support.

If you are a dependent, your family’s assets and income will influence how much aid you are eligible to receive. These two factors calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) toward your schooling. Then, your college calculates your cost of attendance (COA) and subtracts that amount by your EFC to determine the exact amount of aid you will receive.

To continue receiving aid through FAFSA for medical school, you need to reapply each year in case your family’s financial situation changes.

2. Be Aware of Deadlines

The federal deadline for FAFSA applications is June 30 each year, but you can usually apply as early as October 1 of the previous year.

That said, each state and college has its deadlines and requirements with FAFSA forms. Therefore, you will want to be aware of other deadlines and requirements as you go through the FAFSA process. For example, to qualify for priority consideration in Connecticut, you should submit the form before February 15.

Moreover, some colleges may require additional documents with your FAFSA application. For example, AIHT Education requires students and parents of students under 24 to obtain an FSA ID, which you use to log in to Department of Education websites.

Make sure you review all state and college requirements for FAFSA applications before submitting your form. If you miss one, you may have to re-submit your application, which could cause delays before receiving your aid. If you need to re-submit your FAFSA application, the deadline is September 10.

How to Apply for Medical School Aid

Applying for medical school aid takes time, effort and a little attention to detail. However, it is absolutely worth the investment in your future career. Here are some tips on how to apply for medical school aid:

1. Completing the FAFSA

The first step to completing the FAFSA is creating an FSA ID with a username and passcode. This ID will allow you to fill out, sign and submit your FAFSA form electronically.

After creating your FSA ID, the next step is to review and gather all of the documents and information you need to fill out the FAFSA form:

  • Your IRS W-2 or your parents’ tax return from two years prior to the current academic year
  • Your Social Security number or your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent
  • Your driver’s license if applicable
  • Records of any untaxed income
  • Bank account and financial investment information

Be sure to make copies of any documents you need to include — you will not need to include original copies. Additionally, ensure you have the school code of the colleges you are applying to on your FAFSA application so they send your results to the right place.

2. Investigating Aid Sources

FAFSA allows you to receive aid through Stafford loans, which are direct subsidized or direct unsubsidized loans provided by the Department of Education. Additionally, you can use FAFSA to apply for certain programs. It is a good idea to investigate your options — start with aid sources you do not have to pay back, including grants, scholarships and work-study programs.

If you have any specific questions about whether your college will accept a certain grant or scholarship, be sure to reach out to their financial aid office for further clarification.

3. Receiving Your Aid Offer

You will receive your aid offer in at least two disbursements, usually once per quarter, trimester or semester. If your school does not use traditional terms, they will likely give you your grant or loan money at the start and middle of your academic year or program. Most schools automatically apply your grant or loan money to your tuition and residency fees.

Some conditions may apply if it is your first time taking out a federal student loan. For example, your school may wait to give you your aid offer until 30 days have passed from your first day of enrollment. Students taking out federal loans for the first time must also go through entrance counseling. Entrance counseling ensures students understand the terms and conditions of their loan and their rights and responsibilities in terms of repayment.

Here are ideas for how to get more money from FAFSA:

  1. File your FAFSA early: Although you have until June 30 to file your FAFSA application, many states award various grants and loans on a first-come, first-serve basis. By being proactive with your FAFSA application, you will increase your chances of receiving better financial aid awards. Moreover, students who file their FAFSA forms early may qualify for more aid directly from the FAFSA program.
  2. Save money in your parents’ names: FAFSA assesses money saved in your parents’ names at a lower percentage than money saved in your name. As such, you can lower the impact your savings have on your aid offer by asking your parents to hold on to that money for you.

AIHT Financial Assistance Programs

In addition to the direct subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loans through FAFSA, AIHT also has several other financial aid programs you can use. These include:

  • Veteran’s Educational Benefits
  • Department of Labor programs
  • Private loans with Meritize for sonography programs
  • Interest-free tuition payment plans

Visit Our Financial Aid Page for More Information

If you are seeking financial aid and want to enroll in one of our programs at AIHT Education, visit our financial aid page! We also welcome you to contact us to learn more about our financial assistance programs at AIHT Education.

 

Top Reasons to Go Into Healthcare

If you like helping people, one of the most logical industries to enter is healthcare. However, the altruistic aspect of healthcare work is only one of its many benefits. Entering the healthcare field also provides an excellent foundation for future career growth and job security.

In fact, healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects healthcare employment to expand 16% from 2020 to 2030, adding approximately 2.6 million jobs in the United States during that time.

There is plenty of room for growth with healthcare careers. Besides setting yourself up for success and providing essential care to others, we have put together an extensive list of the benefits of working in healthcare to show you why a career in healthcare is so worthwhile.

1. High Earning Potential

Almost everyone will agree that the salary is a deciding factor when choosing a career path. While it is not the only relevant consideration when selecting a job, earning potential has a significant impact on your life. It is important to know your career choice will adequately compensate you for your work so you can live comfortably and securely.

When it comes to earning potential alone, healthcare is an excellent industry to enter. Most healthcare jobs offer competitive and lucrative salaries. This holds true whether you are a registered nurse, dental hygienist or surgeon. In many cases, the more education and expertise the position requires, the more lucrative the salary.

The BLS reports that healthcare workers made a median annual wage of $69,870 in 2020. In comparison, the median annual wage for all occupations was $41,950. The earning potential for healthcare workers is higher than it is for workers in other industries, making it a clear choice when you are looking for a high-paying career path.

2. Flexible Schedules

Many healthcare jobs have flexible scheduling options through self-scheduling. With self-scheduling, supervisors determine the work schedule and let workers select or trade shifts for themselves.

This kind of scheduling enables healthcare workers to enjoy an optimal work-life balance. As a result, healthcare workers can create a condensed, front-loaded schedule to have more focused time away from work, or they can organize their schedule around other important commitments.

The long, irregular hours that healthcare workers often work emphasize the importance of flexibility in healthcare positions. It is important for healthcare workers to have a degree of control over their schedules to maintain a healthy work-life balance — and self-scheduling allows that to happen.

3. Educational Path Variety

Healthcare education ranges from one-year programs to eight years of schooling and residency. This variety gives you many educational paths to consider. The most lucrative positions have extensive education requirements. However, numerous other healthcare pathways also lead to well-paying and meaningful jobs.

For example, to become a medical sonographer, you only need two years of education to get your Associate’s degree or equivalent certification. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for medical sonographers in 2020 was $75,920, comparable to registered nurses, chiropractors and dental hygienists. These employees provide essential ultrasound services to help doctors diagnose, treat or monitor different medical conditions or pregnancies.

Likewise, you may start your healthcare career with a nursing assistant certification. After gaining experience and confirming your interest in nursing, you may decide to develop your career further and pursue a nursing degree. The nurse assistant certification and work experience will give you an advantage over other nursing school graduates in hiring pools. If you prove yourself to your employer as an exceptional nurse assistant, they may provide an incentive to help you develop your career with them.

One of the most unique parts of the healthcare field is that you have the opportunity to specialize in types of care. For instance, a medical doctor can specialize in pediatrics, cardiology, internal medicine, orthopedics and countless other medical fields. This is just one example of how healthcare employees can work in all kinds of settings.

4. Different Jobs for Different Personalities

Whether you like working with people or prefer to stay behind the scenes, there is a healthcare job for any personality type.

Perhaps you want to use your skills in a healthcare capacity, but you work better in non-patient-facing roles. In that case, you may enjoy working as a clinical lab technologist. On the other hand, maybe you see yourself helping people on the frontlines in healthcare. Numerous healthcare jobs allow you to function in that capacity, whether you do so as a registered nurse, nursing assistant or general physician.

Check out our list of healthcare programs at AIHT to see the range of jobs in the medical field:

5. Stimulating Work Environments

Just as different healthcare jobs match different personalities, you can find a healthcare work environment that stimulates your interests. There are always new updates like ICD-10 that keep people learning.

Whatever healthcare career path you choose, you will have regular opportunities for new experiences and learning new things. You’ll interact with all sorts of different people, solve various problems and gain new skills regularly. Since healthcare workers are needed worldwide, you may also have the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world.

6. Fulfilling Work

If you understand the importance of your work and its benefit to others, you are more likely to enjoy what you do. The importance of healthcare and its benefits to others is clear. Your work helps individuals, families and communities find the necessary care to stay healthy and enjoy life.

While every job will feel mundane at times, it is helpful to choose a career where you can see its meaningful impact on those you serve. Working in a healthcare role will give you countless opportunities to help people. As you do so, you can look back on most days and see the positive impact you had on someone else’s life.

7. High Job Satisfaction

Healthcare workers have high job satisfaction rates. According to a 2019 survey, most people say that feeling as though their work is meaningful is the most important part of their jobs. Healthcare is one of the most meaningful fields in the world, as it is such a vital field. As a result, most healthcare workers are happy with their career choice, feeling that the benefits outweigh any obstacles they experience along the way.

Contact Us for More Information on the Healthcare Field

If you think healthcare is the right choice for you but are unsure of what path you should take, we would love to help you find your healthcare career path at AIHT! For more information on your options for working in the healthcare field, we welcome you to contact us today or schedule an appointment with our Admissions Department.

 

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Becoming a medical assistant is an excellent career choice that can propel you to an exciting and enriching career. We will always have a need for dedicated professionals in the healthcare industry, and today, jobs in healthcare are on the rise. With excellent job security, good pay and a fast education path, becoming a medical assistant might be the perfect fit for your goals.

If helping others is your passion and you’re ready for a challenging and fulfilling career, continue reading this guide on how to become a medical assistant!

Becoming a Medical Assistant

Most states do not have any formal requirements for becoming a medical assistant beyond a GED or high school diploma. Still, you may experience difficulty landing a medical assistant position without a medical assistant certificate. With that in mind, check out the steps to take to become a medical assistant:

1. Earn a Medical Assistant Certification

The first step to becoming a medical assistant involves going back to school or furthering your education. Earning a medical assistant certification will help you stand out from the crowd, and provide essential practice for the job. Hands-on learners will have the opportunity to learn in action through an externship that is part of your medical assistant program.

While some employers may provide on-the-job training for medical assistant positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most prefer to hire employees with a medical assistant certificate from an accredited post-secondary institution. As such, earning a medical assistant certification will increase your chances of getting hired.

Various universities, community colleges and technical schools offer medical assistant training programs. In general, these programs take approximately one year to complete. As you choose a program, some questions to consider include:

  • Is the school accredited?
  • How much does the program cost compared with similar programs at other institutions?
  • What quality of hands-on training will you receive?
  • How are the courses offered? Do they have online and in-person course options?
  • What are the residency options? Will you have to commute?

At AIHT, our accredited medical assistant training programs are nine months long and involve 225 hours of high-quality externship experience. We have competitive rates and provide a hybrid of online and in-person course options.

2. Build Medical Assistant Experience With Externships

After you’ve blazed through your written assignments and mastered the lab work, the next step in earning your medical assistant certification is to gain hands-on experience with an externship. Externships typically involve unpaid shadowing of an industry professional for anywhere from a day to several weeks.

Medical assistant externships provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn from industry professionals about a medical assistant’s daily tasks and responsibilities. In addition to observation, externs can also perform specific medical assistant tasks under supervision, such as drawing blood or preparing patients for an X-ray. In this way, externships prepare you for real-world work and increase your confidence before an interview or your first day on the job.

AIHT has clinical affiliations with various healthcare facilities to complete your externship requirements.

3. Get Certified

The next step on your journey to a medical assistant career is to get certified. Certifications have many benefits, including:

  • Adds credibility
  • Boosts your resume
  • Increases your hiring chances
  • Gives you leverage for better pay
  • Creates additional opportunities for advancement

The technical aspects of medical assistant certification involve authorized data entry of medication, laboratory and radiology orders. Achieving a medical assistant certification generally involves:

  • Covering an application fee.
  • Submitting a certificate application with your official transcript.
  • Completing a written examination of approximately 200 questions.

The primary medical assistant certifications are through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and American Medical Technologists (AMT). The overall governing body for medical assistant certifications is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

4. Apply and Interview

The final hurdle before officially calling yourself a medical assistant is to apply for an open position and nail the interview process. To do so, you will need to:

  • Craft a compelling resume.
  • Rehearse responses for various interview questions.
  • Continue polishing your technical skills as you wait for an opening or an interview.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind for the application and interview process:

  • Keep your options open and apply to various places, such as hospitals, urgent care clinics, primary care clinics, specialty centers and healthcare facilities.
  • Connect with alumni in your area who may know of opportunities and can get you in touch with the right individual for an interview.
  • If you enjoyed your externship experience, ask the staff at that healthcare facility about any openings.

Roles and Responsibilities

Medical assistant roles and responsibilities can be categorized into two broad areas — administrative or managerial duties and medical duties.

Administrative and Managerial Duties

Medical assistants are often the first and last people patients encounter with their visit to the doctor’s office. When the patient arrives, your duty as a medical assistant is to greet them in the reception area and perform administrative tasks related to their appointment. After their appointment, they will come to you to schedule later appointments or pay for the rendered services. As such, some administrative and managerial duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Supervising the reception area.
  • Greeting patients and visitors.
  • Responding to phone calls.
  • Entering relevant data into the computer.
  • Sending and receiving mail.
  • Filing insurance claims.
  • Assisting other staff with patient data management.
  • Upholding the integrity of patient information and medical history.

Medical Duties

Medical assistants also assist doctors and practitioners with medical duties related to a patient’s medical profile, such as:

  • Drawing blood.
  • Sterilizing medical equipment.
  • Checking blood pressure levels and other vitals.
  • Preparing patients for X-rays or other medical exams.
  • Wound care

Depending on the medical facility, you may have other duties specific to the type of healthcare the facility provides, such as eye care or dental care. If your medical assistant training does not cover these duties, your employer will provide on-the-job training.

Medical Assistant Certifications

There are four medical assistant certifications you can receive that CMS recognizes. The medical assistant certifications that meets CMS’s meaningful use standards include:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through AAMA: Requires a postsecondary medical assistant diploma and involves an exam of over 200 questions. The entire application, testing and certifying process take approximately six months. Once you receive the certificate, it is valid for 60 months.
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through AMT: Requires at least 720 hours of instruction in an accredited medical assistant training program, enrollment in an Armed Forces medical services training program or five years of work experience to apply. The exam consists of over 200 questions, and you can retake the exam up to three times. Upon successfully completing exam, you will receive the certificate within two to three weeks. The certificate is valid for three years. From start to finish, the RMA process is approximately two months if you pass the exam on your first try.
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT): Requires a diploma from an NCCT-approved institution or the Armed Forces or two years of medical assistant work experience within five years of your application. This certification requires annual renewal.
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) through the National Healthcareer Association (NCHA): Eligibility requirements include a medical assistant diploma within the previous five years or a high school diploma with at least one year of supervised medical assistant work experience within the previous three years. The CCMA certification is valid for two years.

Visit Our Medical Assistant Program Page or Contact Us for More Info

If you can see yourself thriving in a medical assistant position, visit our medical assistant program page to discover how AIHT can help you achieve that goal. A medical assistant certificate can expand your career prospects.

Now may be the best time to change careers, so contact us for more information!

CNA Requirements in Connecticut

CNA Requirements in Connecticut

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are one integral part of an efficient health care facility. While nurses and doctors handle diagnoses and medically focused patient care, CNAs are responsible for the behind-the-scenes tasks that support patients and the entire team.

CNA responsibilities include moving and feeding patients, giving baths, documenting patient dietary habits, activities of daily living (ADLs), checking vital signs, end-of-life care and answering patient calls. They work under the direct supervision of either a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN) or both. Many CNAs are assigned additional tasks based on specific facility needs.

CNAs can find rewarding work in all types of facilities across the industry, including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Your role as a CNA can be the first step in your journey toward a higher position or a fulfilling career providing hands-on patient care.

Here’s how to get your CNA license in Connecticut.

Select the Right Route

CNA requirements in Connecticut vary depending on previous experience. Interested candidates can secure a CNA position through one of the following routes:

  • Completed training and exam within the past two years: If you’ve successfully completed a valid 100-hour CNA program in Connecticut within the past two years and have passed the subsequent exam, you can apply to be placed directly on the Nurse Aid Registry (NAR).
  • New nurse aide candidate: If you’re a new student or an individual who has previously completed a state-approved CNA program within the past two years but has yet to take an exam, you must take and pass the official CNA exam to get placed on the NAR.
  • Current or student nurse: RN or LPN students currently enrolled in an approved program — or those who have been enrolled within the past two years — can take the CNA exam and get placed on the NAR once they have completed at least 100 clinical and classroom hours. This is a great option for getting hands-on experience while studying for your formal nursing degree, and it may give you better insight into how health care facilities operate.
  • Out-of-state nurse aide and reciprocity: Individuals with a state-approved out-of-state CNA license within the past two years can pursue a CNA position in Connecticut as long as their former education included at least 100 hours of training. You may need to take a special out-of-state CNA exam. Some individuals may be eligible for reciprocity without testing if their out-of-state certification is still in good standing. Eligible candidates should submit a copy of their certificate or state-official letter with the certification’s issue and expiration dates and confirmation of legitimacy to the NAR.
  • Lapsed nurse aide: Individuals in Connecticut who once held a valid in-state CNA certification but have not renewed it within the appropriate time frame must retake and pass the current CNA exam if they want to be relisted on the NAR.

Find and Select a State-Approved CNA Training Program

Connecticut requires all CNAs to successfully complete at least 100 hours of practical and classroom training. CNAs achieve these hours in a program facilitated by an RN with a minimum of two years experience, including one year of experience in a licensed nursing or convalescent home. CNA education will cover all necessary skills required by state and federal guidelines, including various theories and competency skills. You must finish at least 16 hours of training in the following areas before working directly with patients or residents:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Resident rights
  • Resident independence
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) use

Some programs or facilities may have additional requirements.

Choosing the Right CNA Program

Choosing the Right CNA Program

CNA training is available at traditional educational facilities and in some medical centers, like nursing homes, which may sponsor CNA education for eligible applicants. All CNA programs must be approved by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

You should also consider:

  • Program accreditation: If the school isn’t properly accredited, the state of Connecticut cannot legally recognise it to facilitate your CNA examination.
  • Student experience: Talk to current and former students or read program reviews to get a better idea of what a CNA program can offer you. Some facilities have student life perks, like on-campus amenities or flexible class scheduling.
  • Learning format: While many of today’s education and career training programs take place online, health care remains one field where some level of hands-on learning is vital. If you’re looking for the payment or schedule flexibility of an online classroom format, consider a program with hybrid learning options. Hybrid programs offer some classes — like theory-based learning — online, while keeping in-person training for necessary courses.
  • Class flexibility: Make sure you can fit your CNA training into your existing responsibilities. Some programs work around common day job hours, offering night classes and alternate attendance options.
  • Financing options: Talk to your program facilitator to explore financing options. Depending on the program, you might be eligible for financial aid, payment plans or scholarships.
  • Unique offerings: Some CNA programs may offer unique incentives, like a specially trained program advisor, immediate job placement or similar.

Meet CNA Prerequisites and Complete Training

CNA training takes weeks or months to complete, depending on your specific program, course pace and career goals. Learning will include everything you need to know to care for patients at the CNA level, including:

  • An overview of the human body
  • Basic Life Support Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (BLS CPR)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance
  • Delivering personal care at all stages of a patients’ stay

Your 100 hours of combined classroom and hands-on training include practical hours, sometimes called “clinicals.” Clinicals are in-person lessons for skills like patient bathing and vital signs, which can’t be learned in the classroom alone. Students often practice on one another under instructor guidance before moving on to a formal patient setting.

Clinicals must take place in a licensed chronic and convalescent nursing home with an approved nurse supervisor.

Anyone wishing to complete CNA training should be prepared for demanding work. CNAs are the backbone of a successful health care facility and require motivated, compassionate individuals able to communicate with the rest of the team professionally and with the patients’ best interest in mind.

Take the Competency Exam and Get Certified

Once you’ve completed your 100 hours of approved CNA training, it’s time to register for the two-part Nurse Aide Competency Exam. The exam will gauge your ability to promote patient health and care, complete expected CNA tasks, deliver basic nursing care, promote a safe environment and offer specific care for patients with changing health. Practice CNA competency tests are available online.

Part one of the test is an assessment of your skills. You’ll work with fake “residents“ or “patients“ and carry out the required CNA functions to deliver appropriate care. You won’t know which skills you will be tested on, so be sure to study all responsibilities thoroughly.

The second part of the exam is a multiple-choice test delivered via computer at an on-site facility or regional testing city. You may request a written or oral test format if necessary.

Test takers typically receive their results upon exam completion. Should you fail one portion of the exam and pass the other, you can schedule a time to retake the failed section only without retaking the passed part. Once you pass both parts of the exam, your name will be added to the Connecticut NAR, sometimes called the Connecticut CNA Registry, and your certificate will be mailed to you.

Get Quality Nurse Assistant Training in Stratford, Connecticut

Get Quality Nurse Assistant Training in Stratford, Connecticut

The CNA program at AIHT Education – School of Healthcare Career is a six- to eight-week program to give you the training you need to pass your CNA exam and become a CNA in the state of Connecticut. We’re rated among the best CNA training programs in CT. Learn more about the CNA program at AIHT Education and schedule an appointment with an enrollment advisor to get started!

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School

Whether you’re fresh out of high school or seeking higher education to start a new career, choosing a medical assistant program is a significant responsibility. Many people narrow their search based on where they live, but the closest school may not be the best match for you. There are more relevant factors to consider, like financial aid, accreditation and admission requirements.

In this guide, we’ll explain the essential criteria to help you choose the best MA program for your specific needs.

Starting Your Search

Here are the first few steps you should take to compile a list of potential medical assistant schools.

Starting Your Search

 

1. Think About What Kind of Career You Want

The first step to finding the right school for you is figuring out what kind of health career you want. Medical assistants play vital roles in various settings, from physicians’ offices and hospitals to outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities. If you have your heart set on a specific field, choose a program that offers work experience in that setting.

2. Find Accredited School

Accreditation is a review process that evaluates an educational program for strict quality standards. To earn academic accreditation, the school must demonstrate its current and ongoing efforts to maintain the criteria laid out by a reputable organization.

Attending an accredited medical assistant school isn’t a requirement, but it can help you get certification and better employment opportunities. For medical assistance programs, look for accreditation to ensure you’re eligible for a certification exam.

3. Check out Their Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary depending on the school and the type of MA program you’re trying to enter. Check to make sure you’re eligible for all the programs you’re considering. Most medical assistant schools require the following:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Some programs also require a cognitive assessment, such as the Wonderlic Scholastic Exam.

What to Consider When Choosing a School

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential schools, you can dive in a little deeper to discover which ones fit your needs the best. Here are some critical questions to ask yourself while you’re trying to choose the right program for you.

How Long Is the Program?

If you’re eager to start a career helping others, medical assistant programs are relatively brief compared to other medical fields. You can complete most medical assistant programs within one year, depending on your experience, the schedule you choose and the type of training you receive.

The medical assistant school length includes a combination of credit hours in the classroom and externship hours in the field. Programs with more externship hours may take longer, but they can help you earn better employment opportunities.

If you plan to take an exam to earn your certification after graduation, it may take a few additional months before you’re ready to apply for jobs.

Does the Program Provide Adequate Training?

A thorough education serves as the foundation for a successful career as a medical assistant. A comprehensive medical assistant program should cover a wide range of skills, from patient care and phlebotomy/EKG to medical billing and coding.

If you plan on completing a certification exam, look for programs that incorporate test prep into the curriculum. Some schools even offer tutors and other academic resources to help you study.

Is the Program High-Quality?

The program’s quality should be the paramount factor in your decision-making process. It will have a significant impact on the outcome of your career as a medical assistant. To receive a high-quality MA education, look for programs that offer the following:

  • Small class sizes
  • Hands-on training through externships or practicums
  • Test prep for the CCMA and RMA
  • A certificate to verify your training upon completion of the program
  • Knowledgeable instructors with industry experience
  • Career services to help you find a job after graduation

What Kind of Work Experience Does the Program Include?

Hands-on training is crucial for a career in medical assisting. Externships allow students to practice what they learn in the classroom in a real-world setting. Plus, they often lead to job offers after graduation. Look for an MA program that offers externships in your desired field.

What Is Job Placement Like After Graduation?

The job outlook for medical assistants is bright. With 104,400 new job openings projected each year over the next decade. If you would prefer access to career counseling and resume preparation, look for a school that includes these services in the MA program.

How Much Does Medical Assistant School Cost?

The cost of tuition, books, registration fees and other academic expenses may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s an investment in your future that can help you earn a rewarding, higher-paying job. With that in mind, it’s vital to find a program within your financial reach.

Most medical assistant schools include the cost of their programs on their website. As you compare prices, double-check to ensure they’ve listed all fees. For example, the total cost of the medical assistant program at AIHT Education is $14,500, including registration fees, tuition, books and supplies.

Does the School Offer Financial Aid?

Scholarships, grants and loans are forms of financial aid that can help you pay for the school. Make an appointment with the financial aid coordinator at the school you want to attend to find out what types of funding they offer.

All students should also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to qualify for federal grants and loans. While you may not be interested in taking a loan, it’s smart to know all your options.

What to Expect in Medical Assistant School

Medical assistants work among doctors and nurses to perform various medical and administrative duties. Your exact responsibilities will vary depending on where you choose to work. Medical assistant school will prepare you for a wide variety of tasks so you can be successful in any setting. You’ll learn through a combination of classroom studies and clinical practice. Most programs cover the following skills:

  • Patient preparation and care
  • Phlebotomy
  • Physiology
  • Laboratory tests
  • Medical billing and coding
  • Computer literacy
  • Communication and interpersonal skills

Medical Assistant Training in Stratford, CT

Medical Assistant Training in Stratford, CT

If you’re looking for a high-quality MA program in the Stratford area, AIHT Education could be the perfect fit for you. Our medical assistant training program prepares students to become accomplished healthcare professionals. There are some important factors in enrollment decisions and we want to help you through the entire process.

In our nine-month program, we’ll teach you all the necessary knowledge, skills and values to become a skilled medical assistant. At the end of your training, you’ll complete a clinical externship with working professionals to gain invaluable hands-on experience. Graduates of our medical assistant program will be eligible to earn the certified clinical medical assistant credential from NHA, or the registered medical assistant credential from AMT.

Enrolling in our comprehensive MA program will help you earn the career of your dreams. Schedule an appointment with the admissions department or request information online to learn more about the medical training program at AIHT Education.

4 Ways To Get the Most From Your Externship

An externship is all about gaining experience and contacts which will assist you in your future career goals. Here are 4 important steps to follow during your externship.

1. Set clear goals

In any job, it’s very essential to understand what is expected of you, and your externship won’t be any different. By setting specific goals together with your employer, you’ll be ready to gain structure and meaning from the externship.

Below are some samples of goals you’ll want to discuss:

  • What are the specific skills you need to focus on?
  • What are the specific areas or projects your employer needs help with?
  • How will you seek guidance or ask questions when needed?
  • Where to seek out resources and answers on your own when possible?
  • How will your employer deliver feedback on your performance?
  • How to communicate about delays or adjust timelines on an assignment if needed?

2. Identify a mentor

A mentor is a person who can guide you during the beginning of your career and eventually be a bridge to professional networks and learning opportunities. They can be a trusted source of feedback and knowledge.

You’ll want to pick someone who you admire and has the talents and traits you would like to develop. Communicating with employers on your job performance will provide an opportunity for you to improve and make the necessary changes during your externship. The professional relationships that you create during your experience will also be part of your professional network of people who can attest to your knowledge and ability to do a great job. Remember, your future relationships with your network must be nurtured and continued long after your externship has ended to keep it alive and well.

3. Build a positive outlook throughout

During your externship, you’ll be learning so many new skills, navigating the hierarchy of the organization, and fostering professional growth. Be gentle with yourself when things don’t go just as you planned. It is important to find meaningful ways to reward yourself for the effort and dedication you have given to learning a new skill.

Being resilient while learning from your mistakes can have a profound effect on both your mental and physical health. Researchers have noted people who are resilient tend to harness their inner strengths and resources, to rebound quickly and more fully from setbacks.

4. Stay in-touch

As your internship ends, send personalized thoughtful thank you notes or emails to the people you’ve worked with. Mention projects you worked on together, express your gratitude for any guidance they provided, and include your personal contact information.

Here are some sentence starters you’ll include in your thank you notes:

“I am thankful for the time we shared …”
“I would really like to remain connected …”

About Externships:

At AIHT Education, the student will be evaluated on the following criteria by the clinical site preceptor/ supervisor every month and on the final evaluation.

Cognitive

  • Has sufficient knowledge about the applicable clinical examination, test and procedures
  • Is eager to learn and/or shows interest in learning new information, procedure and tests

Psychomotor

  • Operates effectively under stressful or difficult conditions
  • Can perform the clinical examination or test in a logical and efficient manner according to the clinical site’s protocol
  • Performs assigned tasks like taking vitals, performing EKG with appropriate supervision for clinical level
  • Overall demonstrates proficiency as an entry level medical assistant

Affective

  • Is punctual in arriving at the clinical site
  • Uses the downtime wisely, assists in daily maintenance of the examination equipment, restocks the supplies, and performs all duties in an efficient and organized manner
  • Respects the patient at all times and utilizes good bed side manners
  • Displays a respectful manner to fellow team members and is willing to help others as needed
  • Is receptive to suggestions and/ or corrections and accepts constructive criticism well
  • Makes note of and learns from mistakes and strives to perform assignments to the best of his/her ability

For more information about the externships and the medical education training at our school, please call 203-870-8400 or schedule an appointment.