National Medical Assistant Oconee GA

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Oconee Georgia

Oconee GA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oconee GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out 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 might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Oconee GA nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Oconee 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 a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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

Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Oconee GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as 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 training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Oconee GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Oconee GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Oconee GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Oconee GA medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Oconee GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Oconee GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Oconee GA area medical providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Oconee health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Oconee GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, 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 might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oconee GA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oconee Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oconee GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Oconee County, Georgia

Oconee County was created from the southwestern part of Clarke County in 1875 by the Georgia General Assembly. The new county was created to satisfy southwestern Clarke County residents' demand for their own county after the county seat was moved from Watkinsville to Athens by the General Assembly in 1872. It is named for the river flowing along part of its eastern border.[3]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 186 square miles (480 km2), of which 184 square miles (480 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (1.1%) is water.[5] The entirety of Oconee County is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.[6]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,808 people, 11,622 households, and 9,346 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 178.0 inhabitants per square mile (68.7/km2). There were 12,383 housing units at an average density of 67.2 per square mile (25.9/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 88.4% white, 5.0% black or African American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.4% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 19.9% were English, 14.7% were American, 13.3% were Irish, and 12.2% were German.[15]

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Oconee GA

Oconee GA medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 National Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Oconee GA.

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