How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Eastman Georgia
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Eastman GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Eastman GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Eastman GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component requiring 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Eastman GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Eastman GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps 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 have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Eastman GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Eastman GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose 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 about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Eastman GA area medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Eastman health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Eastman GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Eastman GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Eastman Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Eastman GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Eastman is a city in Dodge County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,962 at the 2010 census. Named after one of the founders who contributed a site and paid for the county courthouse, the city was established in 1871, and is the county seat of Dodge County.
In the 19th century, this was a center of the timber and sawmill industry. During the Great Depression in 1937, the first Stuckey's convenience store, now well known along roadways throughout the Southeastern United States, was founded in Eastman.
The first permanent settlement at Eastman was made in 1840. Eastman grew up as a station of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad which was built through the area in the summer of 1869. Eastman was originally named Levison and was renamed Eastman by December 1869. Eastman was named in 1871 as the seat of the newly formed Dodge County. It was incorporated as a town in 1873 and as a city in 1905. Eastman is named for W. P. Eastman, who, with W. E. Dodge, presented the county with a courthouse.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Program Eastman GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Is Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Eastman GA.
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