How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Gordon Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Gordon GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many potential students start by evaluating 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, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, 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 talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Gordon GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Gordon GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as 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 usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Gordon GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Gordon GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Gordon GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Gordon GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to 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 of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining 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, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Gordon GA area healthcare providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Gordon health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Gordon GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator 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 increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gordon GA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out 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 Gordon Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Gordon GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Fort Gordon, formerly known as Camp Gordon, is a United States Army installation established in October 1941. It is the current home of the United States Army Signal Corps , United States Army Cyber Corps, and Cyber Center of Excellence. It was once the home of The Provost Marshal General School and Civil Affairs School. The fort is located slightly southeast of Grovetown, Georgia and southwest of the city Augusta, Georgia. The main component of the post is the Advanced Individual Training for Signal Corps military occupational specialties. In 1966–68 the Army's Signal Officer Candidate School (located at Fort Monmouth during World War II and the Korean War) graduated over 2,200 Signal officers. Signals Intelligence has become more visible and comprises more and more of the fort's duties.
The United States Army established many war-training camps during World War I. Chamblee, northeast of Atlanta, was selected for one of the state's largest army cantonments. It was named Camp Gordon in honor of John Brown Gordon, who was a major general in the Confederate army, a Georgia governor, a U.S. senator, and a businessman. The camp opened in July 1917, becoming a training site and home of the famous 82nd Airborne Division. The division was composed of men from several different states, but men from Georgia made up almost half its number. This camp was in operation until the sale of real estate and buildings was ordered in 1920. It was abandoned in September 1921. During WWI the US Army Camp Hancock was located in Augusta, Georgia in the general vicinity of the current Daniel Field. Camp Hancock was the home of the 28th Infantry Division from Pennsylvania. Camp Hancock was abandoned and turned over to a caretaker detachment March 27, 1919. From 1919 until 1941, there was no army installation named Camp Gordon in existence, nor was there an installation located near Augusta, Georgia. 
Camp Gordon was approved as the name for a WWII division training camp which began construction in July 1941. The U.S. War Department approved a contract to construct facilities on a new training area near Augusta, in Richmond County, Georgia that had been selected several months earlier. A groundbreaking and flag-raising ceremony took place in October. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor Colonel Herbert W. Schmidt, camp commander, moved his small staff from his temporary office in the Augusta post office building to the unfinished headquarters building at Camp Gordon on 9 December 1941 and the 4th Infantry Division began to establish operations there.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant School Gordon GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many 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, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Gordon GA.
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