How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Franklin Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Franklin GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 also. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Franklin GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Education
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Franklin GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created 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 typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Franklin GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Franklin GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Franklin GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Franklin GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Franklin GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Franklin medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Franklin GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Franklin GA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Franklin Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Franklin GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Franklin is a city in Heard County, Georgia, United States. The population was 993 at the 2010 census, up from 902 at the 2000 census. Franklin is the county seat of Heard County. The city is named after Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin is located in central Heard County at 33°16′47″N 85°05′54″W / 33.279788°N 85.098403°W / 33.279788; -85.098403, along the Chattahoochee River. U.S. Route 27 passes through the east side of the city on a bypass, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Carrollton and south 19 miles (31 km) to LaGrange. Georgia State Route 34 passes through the center of Franklin, leading northeast 20 miles (32 km) to Newnan and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to the Alabama border. Georgia State Route 100 joins SR 34 for part of its path through Franklin, but leads northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Ephesus and southeast 14 miles to Hogansville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Franklin has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.0 km2), of which 3.4 square miles (8.7 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), or 4.00%, are water.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant School Franklin GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective 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 appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accredited Medical Assistant Programs Online. But irrespective of the kind 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Franklin GA.
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