How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Dexter Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dexter GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Dexter GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Dexter GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for students 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 option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Dexter GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Dexter GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional 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 Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Dexter GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, 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 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Dexter GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’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. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Dexter GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Dexter healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Dexter GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dexter GA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy 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 Dexter Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dexter GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The first permanent settlement at Dexter was made in 1889. A post office has been in operation at Dexter since 1890. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1891 as the "Town of Dexter".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.60%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 509 people, 207 households, and 143 families residing in the town. The population density was 670.4 people per square mile (258.6/km²). There were 231 housing units at an average density of 304.2 per square mile (117.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 77.41% White and 22.59% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Dexter GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Do Medical Assistants Do. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Dexter GA.
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