How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Mcdonough Georgia
Once you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Mcdonough GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate 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 issues as well. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Mcdonough GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Mcdonough GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Mcdonough GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Mcdonough GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative 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 reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Mcdonough GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify 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 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Mcdonough GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’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 must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Mcdonough GA area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Mcdonough medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Mcdonough GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller 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 attend a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mcdonough GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may 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 responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Mcdonough Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Mcdonough GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
McDonough is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 22,084 at the 2010 census, up from 8,493 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Henry County.
The town was named for naval officer Commodore Thomas Macdonough and founded in 1823 around a traditional town square design. The buildings surrounding the square are intact, although there are some vacancies. The county courthouse and historic jail building are on the north side near the Welcome Center in a historically maintained Standard Oil service station, built in 1920. The station also houses the Main Street Program Office and Hospitality and Tourism Office. In the center of the square is a monument to Henry County's Confederate dead.
One block east of the square, the town's original cotton warehouse has been replaced with the Henry County Judicial Center. In the same area the Henry County Courthouse Annex has an original oil on canvas "Cotton Gin" (4½ by 11 feet) by artist Jean Charlot. He painted this oil in 1942 for the town post office. His works can be found all over the world in everything from children's books to large murals.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Mcdonough GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Study. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Mcdonough GA.
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