How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Newton Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Newton GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the schools 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 a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Newton GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based 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 responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Newton GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few 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 obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Newton GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Newton GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Newton GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, 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 normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Newton GA employers will not hire 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 design their programs to ready 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 to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Newton GA area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Newton healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Newton GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Newton GA, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Newton Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Newton GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Newton County, Georgia
Newton county is named after Sgt. John Newton, who served under Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox", in the American Revolutionary War. It was created on December 24, 1821. During the American Civil War, the county provided the Lamar Infantry, which was a part of Cobb's Legion. Newton county adjoins Jasper County, Georgia: Georgia is one of many states that have a Newton County and a Jasper County that border each other.
In late 1978, the first five episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard were filmed in and around Covington, Georgia. The TV series In The Heat of the Night was filmed in Covington from 1988 to 1995. Also, in Remember the Titans, there were many scenes shot on "The Square" and the final football scene was shot at Homer Sharp Stadium, which is located near downtown Covington. Currently part of the new series The Vampire Diaries is being fiimed on "The Square". Additionally, major films including My Cousin Vinny, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II, Rob Zombie's sequel to his 2007 film Halloween, were also filmed near and around "The Square" in downtown Covington.
Newton county claims to be the birthplace of Georgia 4-H. Actually, the Girls Canning and Boys Corn Clubs in 1904 by G.C. Adams was renamed the 4-H Club in 1906, after the original 4-H Club that opened in Iowa in 1905.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Newton GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper 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 life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 3 Month Medical Assistant Program. But irrespective of the type 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Newton GA.
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