How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Moultrie Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Moultrie GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Moultrie GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing 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:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Moultrie 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 basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with 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 usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Moultrie GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Moultrie GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Moultrie GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Moultrie GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? 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 considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose 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 one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Moultrie GA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Moultrie health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Moultrie GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Moultrie GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Moultrie Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Moultrie GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Moultrie is the county seat and largest city of Colquitt County, Georgia, United States. It is the third largest city in Southwest Georgia, behind Thomasville and Albany. As of the 2010 census, Moultrie's population was 14,268. It was originally known as Ochlockoney until it was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly in 1859.
Moultrie is an agricultural community set in the Southern Rivers part of Georgia. It is well known for its antique shops and has been styled "The Antique Capital of South Georgia". Moultrie is the home of Former US Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Located in southwest Georgia, Moultrie is in the center of Colquitt County, 24 miles (39 km) west of Interstate 75, and about 200 miles (300 km) south of Atlanta and 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. The city is located between Albany to the northwest, Tifton to the northeast, Thomasville to the southwest, and Valdosta to the southeast.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Moultrie GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example 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 Clinical Medical Assistant Training. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Moultrie GA.
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