How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Colquitt Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Colquitt GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate 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 as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Colquitt GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing 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. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Colquitt 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 essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Colquitt GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Colquitt GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Colquitt GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Colquitt GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’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. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Colquitt GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Colquitt health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Colquitt GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Colquitt GA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Colquitt Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Colquitt GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Colquitt County, Georgia
Colquitt County is a county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,498. The county seat is Moultrie. The county was created February 25, 1856 and is named for Walter Terry Colquitt, a U.S. senator.
It is the hometown of former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. Colquitt County is the home of the Colquitt County Packers and is home to the 1994 Class AAAA and the 2014 and 2015 AAAAAA State Championship Football teams, along with the 1997 and 2003 State Champion Baseball teams.
Most of the western portion of Colquitt County, west of Moultrie and State Route 33, is located in the Upper Ochlockonee River sub-basin of the larger Ochlockonee River basin, with the exception of the very northwestern corner of the county, between Sale City and west of Doerun, which is located in the Lower Flint River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). A narrow central portion of Colquitt County, running from north to south of Moultrie, and then widening to occupy the gap between U.S. Route 319 and State Route 133, is located in the Withlacoochee River sub-basin of the Suwannee River basin. The eastern portion of the county is located in the Little River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Colquitt GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Overview. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Colquitt GA.
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