How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Peachtree City Georgia
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Peachtree City 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 subsequently enroll in the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean 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 might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges 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 Job of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Peachtree City GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run 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 responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Peachtree City GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Peachtree City GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Peachtree City GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps 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 have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Peachtree City GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, 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 need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Peachtree City GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Peachtree City GA area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Peachtree City medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Peachtree City GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Peachtree City GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Peachtree City Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Peachtree City GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Peachtree City, Georgia
Peachtree City is located in western Fayette County in the southern Atlanta metro area. It is bordered to the west by Coweta County and to the north by the city of Tyrone. It is crossed by Georgia State Route 74, Georgia State Route 34, and Georgia State Route 54. SR 54 leads east 10 miles (16 km) to Fayetteville, the county seat, and southwest 17 miles (27 km) to Luthersville. Newnan is 12 miles (19 km) to the west via SR 54 and SR 34. SR 74, the Joel Cowan Parkway, runs through the west side of Peachtree City, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Tyrone and 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 85 near Fairburn. Downtown Atlanta is 31 miles (50 km) to the north via SR 74 and I-85.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Peachtree City has a total area of 25.4 square miles (65.9 km2), of which 24.6 square miles (63.6 km2) is land and 0.93 square miles (2.4 km2), or 3.57%, is water. The city is in the watershed of Line Creek, which forms the western city boundary and county line, and is a south-flowing tributary of the Flint River.
Peachtree City has three lakes. Lake Kedron to the north is a reservoir that supplies Lake Peachtree to the south via Flat Creek. Lake Kedron is owned by the Fayette County Authority, and is managed so as to keep Lake Peachtree full whenever there is a lack of rain and still allow for recreational use of the lake during droughts. Lake Kedron is not afforded any recreational use except for fishing. Lake McIntosh, the newest lake, close to Planterra, has now reached full pool.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Peachtree City 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 objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Cost To Become A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision 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 picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Peachtree City GA.
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