How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Avondale Estates Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Avondale Estates GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Avondale Estates GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Avondale Estates GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good option for individuals who may not have 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 attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Avondale Estates GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Avondale Estates GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Avondale Estates GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Avondale Estates GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Avondale Estates GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Avondale Estates health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Avondale Estates GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale Estates GA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Avondale Estates Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Avondale Estates GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Avondale Estates, Georgia
Avondale Estates was founded in 1924 by George Francis Willis, a patent medicine magnate, who purchased the entire village of Ingleside to create a planned community. The city was named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England, birthplace of Shakespeare. Downtown buildings were designed in a Tudor style to reinforce this image, as were many of the houses in the city. The city incorporated in 1927.
Avondale Estates is located at 33°46′15″N 84°15′54″W / 33.77083°N 84.26500°W / 33.77083; -84.26500 (33.770905, -84.264894). The city is entirely underlain by granite, and clay-rich soil developed on it. Some of this granite can be seen outcropped along the shore of Lake Avondale.
As of the 2010 census, Avondale Estates had a population of 2,960. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 80.9% white, 14.5% black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% reporting some other race and 2.0% reporting two or more races. 2.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant School Avondale Estates GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Online Schools. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Avondale Estates GA.
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