How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Cochran Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cochran GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out 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 should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Cochran GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may 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 filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Cochran GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Cochran GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Cochran GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend 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 discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Cochran GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cochran GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select 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 closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Cochran GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Cochran 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 daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Cochran GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cochran GA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cochran Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cochran GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cochran is named for Judge Arthur E. Cochran and was incorporated on March 19, 1869. Judge Cochran was largely instrumental in developing this section of Georgia through his work as president of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, now the Southern Railway. Once known as Dykesboro, Cochran was settled by B. B. Dykes, who owned the site on which the town is built. The earliest settlers located here to work in the turpentine industry.
Cochran is home to Bleckley County High School and Middle Georgia State University. Three properties in Cochran are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Bleckley County Courthouse in Courthouse Square, the Cochran Municipal Building and School at the junction of Dykes and Second streets, and Hillcrest at 706 Beech Street.
Cochran, originally known as Dykesboro, was settled in the 1850s by B. B. Dykes. It was renamed Cochran in 1869 after Arthur Cochran, a railroad official who brought the Macon and Brunswick Railroad to town. In 1912, Cochran was designated seat of the newly formed Bleckley County.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Cochran GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the proper 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 lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information 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 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 plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Top Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cochran GA.
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Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
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