How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Edison Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Edison GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Edison GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving 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 possible responsibilities 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 samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Edison GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Edison GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Edison GA medical employers simply will not employ 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). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Edison GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Edison GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Edison GA area medical providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Edison health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Edison GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care 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 personal instruction 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 instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Edison GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask 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 Edison Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Edison GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Edison is a city in Calhoun County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,531 at the 2010 census. The Edison Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Edison is located in northwestern Calhoun County at 31°33′39″N 84°44′17″W / 31.56083°N 84.73806°W / 31.56083; -84.73806 (31.560891, -84.737984). It is 40 miles (64 km) west of Albany and 20 miles (32 km) east of the Alabama line at Fort Gaines.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,340 people, 512 households, and 334 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.9 people per square mile (222.1/km²). There were 584 housing units at an average density of 251.0 per square mile (96.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.94% White, 67.69% African American, and 0.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant College Edison GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus 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 fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Edison GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia