How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Jefferson Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Jefferson GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might want to research 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 need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Jefferson GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate 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 responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Jefferson GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, a few 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Jefferson GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Jefferson GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Jefferson GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Jefferson GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Jefferson GA area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Jefferson health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Jefferson 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jefferson GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Jefferson Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Jefferson GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Jefferson is a city in Jackson County, Georgia, United States. The population was 9,432 at the 2010 census, up from 3,825 at the 2000 census. As of 2016 the estimated population was 10,486. The city is the county seat of Jackson County.
Jefferson was founded in 1800. That same year, the seat of Jackson County was transferred to Jefferson from Clarkesboro. Jefferson was incorporated as a town in 1806 and as a city in 1896. The city was named after Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson is located in central Jackson County at 34°7′36″N 83°35′25″W / 34.12667°N 83.59028°W / 34.12667; -83.59028 (34.126736, -83.590297). It is bordered to the northwest by Pendergrass and to the southeast by Arcade. U.S. Route 129 passes through the southwest side of the city, leading northwest 21 miles (34 km) to Gainesville and southeast 19 miles (31 km) to Athens. Interstate 85 runs through the northern end of Jefferson, 5 miles (8 km) northwest of the center of town, with access from Exits 137 and 140. I-85 leads southwest 55 miles (89 km) to Atlanta and northeast 90 miles (140 km) to Greenville, South Carolina.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Jefferson GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Colleges Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Jefferson GA.
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