How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Chickamauga Georgia
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Chickamauga GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by checking out 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 very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, 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 talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Chickamauga GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may 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 health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular 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 Education
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Chickamauga 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 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma 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 facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals 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 choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Chickamauga GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Chickamauga GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating 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 Chickamauga GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Chickamauga GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Chickamauga GA area healthcare providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Chickamauga medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Chickamauga GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller 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 convenient, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chickamauga GA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Chickamauga Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Chickamauga GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Before the 1800s, the Chickamauga-Cherokee settled around Chickamauga Creek, where they farmed and hunted the lands. They stayed there until their forced exodus during the Trail of Tears (1838). In the early to mid-19th century, the present town of Chickamauga was a large plantation in the rolling hills of north Georgia. When the Cherokee Nation was divided into districts and courts in 1820, Crawfish Springs was made the capital of the new Chickamauga District. After the Cherokee removal, the first court in Walker County was held there in the former Cherokee courthouse. The local post office was Crawfish Springs.
During the War of 1812, 500 Cherokee warriors from the area fought alongside General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, against the Creek Indians, who were aligned with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The battle ended in a victory for the Americans.
The Lee and Gordon families greatly influenced Chickamauga's post-Cherokee history. In 1836 Gwinnett County native James Gordon established a plantation at Crawfish Springs and built a grist mill two miles east of town, on Chickamauga Creek. Lee and Gordon's Mill, which contained the area's first general store, was situated near a blacksmith shop and stagecoach stop. From 1840 to 1847, Gordon built his Doric-columned brick house (known today as the Gordon-Lee Mansion), which overlooks Crawfish Springs.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Chickamauga GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. 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 discussed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Chickamauga GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 15