How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Concord Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Concord GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Concord GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run 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 providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer 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
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Concord GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Concord GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Concord GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for 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 offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Concord GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 accepted agencies 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Concord GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn 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 naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting 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, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Concord GA area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Concord healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Concord GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working 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 Concord GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Concord Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Concord GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Concord". The community took its name from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, which stood at the site since the early 1840s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 118 households, and 92 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.5 people per square mile (156.3/km²). There were 128 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.81% White, 24.70% African American, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 118 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.26.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Concord GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools 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, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Colleges That Offer Medical Assistant Degrees. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 selecting the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Concord GA.
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