How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Forest Park Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Forest Park GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative 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 relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Forest Park GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. 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 assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few 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
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Forest Park GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some 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 normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Forest Park GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Forest Park GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine 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 process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Forest Park GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Forest Park GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Forest Park GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Forest Park medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Forest Park GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts 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 during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Forest Park GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Forest Park Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Forest Park GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Forest Park, Georgia
Forest Park is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. It is located approximately nine miles (14 km) south of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 18,468.
Originally the third stop from Atlanta on the Macon and Western Railroad, the city was incorporated in 1908. The 1,465-acre (5.93 km2) Fort Gillem was founded nearby in 1941 and was annexed into the city in 1973.
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,468 people, 6,877 households, and 4,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,990.9 people per square mile (882.8/km²). There were 7,233 housing units at an average density of 771.5 per square mile (297.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.2% White, 37.7% African American, 0.50% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.3% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Forest Park GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant Exam. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Forest Park GA.
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