How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Cornelia Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cornelia GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role 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 diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Cornelia GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific 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 Training Courses
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Cornelia GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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 Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Cornelia GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses 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, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Cornelia GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Cornelia GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cornelia GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Cornelia GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Cornelia healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Cornelia GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention 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 face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cornelia GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out 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 Cornelia Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cornelia GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,160 at the 2010 census, up from 3,674 at the 2000 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk-shaped monument. Cornelia was the retirement home of baseball legend Ty Cobb who was born nearby, and was a base of operation for production of the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase that was filmed along the Tallulah Falls Railway that ran from Cornelia northward along the rim of Tallulah Gorge to Franklin, North Carolina.
Cornelia is located in southern Habersham County at 34°30′49″N 83°31′51″W / 34.51361°N 83.53083°W / 34.51361; -83.53083 (34.513716, -83.530942). It is bordered to the east by Mount Airy and to the southwest by Baldwin.
Cornelia was originally called "Blaine", and under the latter name had its start in the early 1870s when the Charlotte Airline Railroad was extended to that point. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Cornelia".
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School Cornelia GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure 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 rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cornelia GA.
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