Medical Assistant Degree Programs Cartersville GA

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Cartersville Georgia

Cartersville GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cartersville GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Cartersville GA nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Cartersville GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Education

Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Cartersville GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Cartersville GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Cartersville GA area medical 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 may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Cartersville GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate 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.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Cartersville GA medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Cartersville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cartersville GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting 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 methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Cartersville GA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Cartersville healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Cartersville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cartersville GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cartersville Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cartersville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Cartersville, Georgia

Cartersville is a city in Bartow County in the U.S. state of Georgia; it is located within the northwest edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 19,731.[8] Cartersville is the county seat of Bartow County.[9]

Cartersville was first known as Birmingham to its original English settlers.[10] The town was incorporated as Cartersville in 1854.[10] The present name is for Col. Farish Carter of Milledgeville, the owner of a large plantation.[11][12]

The Etowah River flows through a broad valley south of the downtown, leading west to Rome, where it forms the Coosa River, a tributary of the Alabama River. The city limits extend eastward, upriver, as far as Allatoona Dam, which forms Lake Allatoona, a large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. Red Top Mountain State Park sits on a peninsula in the lake, just outside the city limits. Nancy Creek also flows in the vicinity. The highest point in the city is 1,562 feet (476 m) at the summit of Pine Mountain.[14]

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Cartersville GA

Cartersville GA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Programs. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Cartersville GA.

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