How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Statham Georgia
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Statham GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is ensure that the Statham GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Statham GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Statham GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Statham GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Statham GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Statham GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Statham GA area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Statham health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Statham GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Statham GA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Statham Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Statham GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 1.08%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,040 people, 731 households, and 551 families residing in the city. The population density was 577.9 people per square mile (223.1/km²). There were 774 housing units at an average density of 219.3 per square mile (84.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.35% White, 14.66% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.30% of the population.
There were 731 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.13.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Statham GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Be A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Statham GA.
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