How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Louisville Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Louisville GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective 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 important factors also. You may want to look into some 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 finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Louisville GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions 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 practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Louisville 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 two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Louisville GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Louisville GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Louisville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Louisville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Louisville GA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Louisville healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Louisville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Louisville GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Louisville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Louisville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, Georgia, United States. It is a former state capital of Georgia and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is located southwest of Augusta on the Ogeechee River, and its population was 2,493 at the 2010 census, down from 2,712 at the 2000 census. The name is of French origin, but is pronounced "Lewis-ville".
Louisville was incorporated on January 26, 1786, as the prospective state capital. Savannah had served as the colonial capital, but was considered too far from the center of population in the growing state. Louisville was named for Louis XVI, who was still the King of France and had aided the Continentals during the successful American Revolutionary War. Development of the city began later, and its state government buildings were completed in 1795. An old Revolutionary War Soldiers Cemetery is located on the western side of town.
Louisville's historic, open-sided market house still stands in the center of downtown. The original market had sections for sales of farm produce, household goods, and enslaved African Americans. The Old Market is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Roads and other transportation routes intersected at the market square, the hub of the region when the town was the state capital. The state capital was moved to Milledgeville and later to Atlanta, in the Piedmont.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course Louisville GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information 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 selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Night Classes. But irrespective of the kind 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Louisville GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia