How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Hiram Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hiram GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Hiram GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for 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. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Education
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Hiram GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Hiram GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Hiram 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 arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Hiram GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are some 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 great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Hiram GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, 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 instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Hiram GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Hiram medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Hiram GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hiram GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hiram Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hiram 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 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.66%) is water.
Dallas and Hiram more than doubled in population from 2000 to 2010, according to figures from the U.S. Census. Dallas, Paulding's county seat, went from an overall population of 5,056 in the year 2000 to 11,544 in the 2010 census—just over a 128 percent increase.
The county's numbers also swelled, but not at the rate experienced by Dallas and Hiram. From 2000's population of 81,678, the county saw nearly three-quarters of that total adding to its resident count, bringing it to 142,324.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Hiram GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 How Long To Become A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hiram GA.
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