How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Chatsworth Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Chatsworth GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Chatsworth GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. 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 tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Training
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Chatsworth GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for individuals who might not have the 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 working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Chatsworth GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Chatsworth GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Chatsworth GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Chatsworth GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Chatsworth GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Chatsworth medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Chatsworth GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication 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 furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chatsworth GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Chatsworth Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Chatsworth GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Chatsworth is a city in Murray County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,531 at the 2000 census and 4,299 in 2010. The city is the county seat of Murray County.
According to a popular legend, the town received its name after a road sign with the word "Chatsworth" fell off a passing freight train nearby. Someone put the sign on a post, and the name stuck.
Chatsworth was founded in 1905 as a depot on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It was incorporated as a town in 1906 and as a city in 1923. In 1915, the seat of Murray County was transferred to Chatsworth from Spring Place.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Chatsworth GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Chatsworth GA.
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