How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Hamilton Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hamilton GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences 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 also. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short 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 available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Hamilton GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Hamilton GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component involving 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 offered online too. They are a good option for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Hamilton GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Hamilton GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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 take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Hamilton GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Hamilton GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hamilton GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Hamilton medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Hamilton GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hamilton 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 have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hamilton Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hamilton GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hamilton is a city in, and the county seat of Harris County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,016 at the 2010 census, up from 307 at the 2000 census. As of 2015, the population had risen to an estimated 1,158.
In January 1912, the lynching of a black woman and three black men in Hamilton attracted national attention from the press and widespread outrage. Dusky Crutchfield, Eugene Harrington, Burrell Hardaway, and Johnie Moore had been held for questioning in the death of a white landowner. They were later shown to have been utterly innocent. They had never even been arrested. A mob of white men took them outside town, hanged and shot them. While many white families tried to build walls of silence around the murders, the effects of these crimes were long-lasting. Coverage by local white newspapers at the time suggested the four were guilty. The Montgomery Advertiser did not even report their names correctly.
Hamilton is located slightly northeast of the center of Harris County at 32°45′53″N 84°52′23″W / 32.76472°N 84.87306°W / 32.76472; -84.87306 (32.764669, -84.873103).U.S. Route 27 runs through the city from north to south, leading southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Columbus and north 8 miles (13 km) to Pine Mountain. Georgia State Route 116 intersects U.S. Route 27 in the city for a very short concurrency. Atlanta is 87 miles (140 km) by road to the northeast. The city is located at the southern base of the Pine Mountain Range, the southernmost mountain range of the Appalachian Mountains.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Hamilton GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Be A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided 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 selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hamilton GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 10