How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Calhoun Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Calhoun GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Calhoun GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Calhoun GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. 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 transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Calhoun GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Calhoun GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Calhoun GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Calhoun GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Calhoun GA area healthcare providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Calhoun medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Calhoun GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Calhoun GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Calhoun Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Calhoun GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Calhoun was a part of the Cherokee Nation (including New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation) until December 29, 1835. Cherokee leaders such as The Ridge and William Hicks had developed numerous productive farms in the fertile Oothcaloga Valley. When the Cherokee refused to give up the remainder of their lands under the Indian Removal Act, after years of land cessions to the United States for white settlers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson sent US troops to the northern region of Georgia to force most of the tribe to move to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, most notably present-day Oklahoma. (See more information on Trail of Tears.)
In December 1827, Georgia had already claimed the Cherokee lands that became Gordon County and other counties. A small town called "Dawsonville" was created and founded in the Gordon County, named for the owner of an early general store. Dawsonville was later renamed "Calhoun" to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun, following his death in 1850.
Gordon County's inferior court called an election for the selection of the county seat, offering voters a choice between a site on the Western & Atlantic Railroad (near Adairsville) or a site more centrally located within the county. Voters chose a site along the railroad, so the inferior court designated Calhoun as county seat in 1851. The legislature incorporated Calhoun in an act approved on January 12, 1852.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Calhoun GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 Good Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Calhoun GA.
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