How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Jackson Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Jackson GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Jackson GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support 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 potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Jackson GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Jackson GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Jackson 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). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Jackson GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Jackson GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Jackson GA area medical care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Jackson health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Jackson GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jackson GA, make certain that those times are available. You may 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 will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Jackson Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Jackson GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Jackson is a city in Butts County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Butts County. The population was 5,045 in 2010, up from 3,934 at the 2000 census. The community was named after governor James Jackson.
Founded in 1826, Jackson began as a 303-acre (1.23 km2) plot purchased for the purpose of starting the town. The plot was divided into squares and each square into lots. The first buyer of a lot in the new town was John D. Swift of Newton County, Georgia. During the Civil War, much of Jackson was razed by the army of General William T. Sherman during his March to the Sea. After the war, Jackson, like much of the South, struggled economically for decades. Jackson remained little more than a small village until the arrival of the railroads in the latter half of the 19th century. On May 5, 1882, the first train arrived in Jackson, heralding a new era in the transportation of people and goods.
During the 20th century, Jackson grew and industrial textile mills became the largest employer of local citizens. The arrival of Interstate 75 just a few miles to the southwest of the city gave citizens quick access to Atlanta and Macon. The numerous schools throughout the county consolidated into one central school system located in Jackson, and the schools desegregated in 1968. In the 1970s, Jackson slowly became a bedroom community. City taxes were also abolished in the 1970s.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Program Jackson GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get 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 decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant How Long. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Jackson GA.
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