How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Kingston Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kingston GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Kingston GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving 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 many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Kingston GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. 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 four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Kingston GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed 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 requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Kingston GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most respected 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 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 previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Kingston GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, 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, many potential Kingston GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out 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 instance, then of course you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Kingston GA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Kingston health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Kingston GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication 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 furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Kingston GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol 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 Kingston Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kingston GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Georgia State Route 293 (Kingston Highway) passes through the center of town, leading southeast 11 miles (18 km) to Cartersville and west 13 miles (21 km) to Rome. U.S. Route 411 is a four-lane highway that passes 1 mile (2 km) south of Kingston, connecting the same two larger communities.
Native American tribes once inhabited the area. People of the Mississippian culture were in the vicinity until about 1500 AD. Cherokee removal occurred locally by 1838. Europeans settlers were moved in as early as 1832, after a land lottery.
On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews with 18 Union soldiers in disguise, and 1 civilian, having seized the locomotive The General at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) intending to wreck the Western and Atlantic Railroad, were forced to side-track here and wait for the southbound freights to pass. After a long delay The General continued north. Pursuing from Big Shanty, William Allen Fuller (conductor) led a crew which used a push-car and other means and eventually caught the highjackers.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Kingston GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Kingston GA.
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