How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant Eatonton GA

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Eatonton Georgia

Eatonton GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Eatonton GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Eatonton GA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Eatonton GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Education

Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Eatonton GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 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 a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma 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 medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Eatonton GAThere are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Eatonton GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work 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 idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Eatonton GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded 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. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Eatonton GA medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start 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 Eatonton GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 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 frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Eatonton GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Eatonton GA area health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Eatonton health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Eatonton GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Eatonton GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask 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 Eatonton Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Eatonton GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Eatonton, Georgia

Eatonton is a city in and county seat of Putnam County, Georgia, United States.[4] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,480.[5] It was named after William Eaton, an officer and diplomat involved in the First Barbary War.[6] The name consists of his surname with the English suffix "ton," meaning "town".

The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a Native American archaeological site, is located north of the city. It is one of two such sites east of the Mississippi River; both are in Putnam County. The mound and related earthwork constructions were made by Woodland culture peoples, perhaps as long ago as 1,000 to 3,000 years. The site within a 1500-acre park administered by the University of Georgia, which also maintains a 4-H camp nearby. The Mound has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the American Revolutionary War, Eatonton was founded in 1807 as the seat of newly formed Putnam County. After the war, settlers were moving west and settling in the upland Piedmont region to develop cotton plantations. Eatonton was incorporated as a town in 1809 and as a city in 1879.[7]

Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Eatonton GA

Eatonton GA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Eatonton GA.

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