How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Glennville Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Glennville GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Glennville GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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 Programs
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Glennville GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent option 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 a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Glennville GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Glennville GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Glennville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Glennville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program focused on 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 methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Glennville GA area health care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Glennville healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Glennville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere 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 to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Glennville 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 also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Glennville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Glennville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17 km2), of which, 6.5 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.75%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,641 people, 1,428 households, and 912 families residing in the city. The population density was 553.4 people per square mile (213.6/km²). There were 1,668 housing units at an average density of 253.5 per square mile (97.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.36% White, 33.64% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.29% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.42% of the population.
There were 1,428 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.2% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.07.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Glennville GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 Medical Assistant Qualifications. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be 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 subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Glennville GA.
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