How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Monroe Georgia
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Monroe GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Monroe GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Education
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Monroe 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 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally 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 prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Monroe GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Monroe GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Monroe GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Monroe GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating 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. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Monroe GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Monroe health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Monroe GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual 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 instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Monroe GA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Monroe Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Monroe GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Monroe is a city in Walton County, Georgia, United States. It is located 35 minutes east of Atlanta via US-78 and GA-138 to I-20 westbound and 45 minutes east of Hartsfield Jackson Int'l Airport and is part of the suburban cities in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Monroe is also a city known for its accessibility to Conyers just 20 minutes away and Lawrenceville 35 minutes away. The population was 13,234 at the 2010 census and 13,858 at the 2016 census.
Monroe was the premier cotton producer in the state of Georgia during the 1900s. The two main cotton mills in Monroe used to be the driving economic force in the region. Now the mills no longer produce for the cotton industry, but rather serve as economic engines for the region by showcasing premiere antique markets, event space, and other unique retail.
Monroe is in western Walton County. U.S. Route 78 (Atlanta/Monroe Bypass) passes north of the city, leading east 5 miles (8.0 km) to Loganville, and west 35 miles (51 km) to downtown Atlanta, and east 25 miles to Athens. GA Bus. 10 runs through the city of Monroe. Georgia State Route 11 leads northwest from Monroe 10 miles (16 km) to Winder, the Barrow County seat, and southwest 15 miles (24 km) to Covington. Georgia State Route 138 leads south 18 miles (29 km) to Conyers.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Monroe GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether 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 such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant School Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Monroe GA.
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