How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Fairmount Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Fairmount GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students start by checking out 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Fairmount GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities 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 tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Programs
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Fairmount GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit 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, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Fairmount GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Fairmount GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Fairmount GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Fairmount GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Fairmount GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Fairmount medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Fairmount GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairmount GA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Fairmount Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Fairmount GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Fairmount is a city in Gordon County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 720. Gordon County is home to New Echota, which was once the Cherokee Nation's capital. It was the origin of the Cherokee written language and newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix.
Fairmount is located in southeastern Gordon County at 34°26′19″N 84°41′58″W / 34.43861°N 84.69944°W / 34.43861; -84.69944 (34.438510, -84.699371), in the valley of Salacoa Creek, a northwest-flowing tributary of the Coosawattee River. U.S. Route 411 runs through the center of town as Salacoa Avenue, leading north 24 miles (39 km) to Chatsworth and south 21 miles (34 km) to Cartersville. Georgia State Route 53 crosses US 411 in Fairmount, leading east 18 miles (29 km) to Jasper and west 17 miles (27 km) to Calhoun, the Gordon County seat.
As of the census of 2000, there were 745 people, 307 households, and 220 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.9 people per square mile (239.7/km²). There were 334 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.70% White, 3.22% African American, 0.27% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Fairmount GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if 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 acquire the right info on available programs before 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, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 Medical Assistant Externship. 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 start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Fairmount GA.
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