How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Oakwood Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oakwood GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Oakwood GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based 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 responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential 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 samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Oakwood GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Oakwood GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may 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 provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Oakwood GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, 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. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Oakwood GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Oakwood GA employers will not hire 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 prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Oakwood GA area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Oakwood medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Oakwood GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oakwood GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oakwood Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oakwood GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Oakwood is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,970 at the 2010 census, up from 2,689 in 2000. Oakwood is home to the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and Wayne Farms.
Oakwood is located southwest of the center of Hall County at 34°13′52″N 83°52′57″W / 34.23111°N 83.88250°W / 34.23111; -83.88250 (34.230976, −83.882364). It is bordered to the northeast by the city of Gainesville, the county seat, and to the southwest by the city of Flowery Branch.
Oakwood was named after the railroad tracks that ran, and still are running as of 2008, through Oakwood and Gainesville. Because most of the cars contained wood (particularly high quality oak), it seemed reasonable to name the city after that type of lumber.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Oakwood GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certify Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Oakwood GA.
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