Medical Assistant Overview Pendergrass GA

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Pendergrass Georgia

Pendergrass GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pendergrass GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Pendergrass GA nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Pendergrass GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential 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 specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Pendergrass GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. 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.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Pendergrass GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work 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 added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Pendergrass GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Pendergrass GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty 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.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Pendergrass GA medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Pendergrass GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Pendergrass GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering 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 focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Pendergrass GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Pendergrass healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Pendergrass GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to witness 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 program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pendergrass GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy 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 Pendergrass Georgia?

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

Pendergrass, Georgia

Pendergrass is located in northwestern Jackson County at 34°9′51″N 83°40′52″W / 34.16417°N 83.68111°W / 34.16417; -83.68111 (34.164223, -83.681047).[5] It is bordered to the southeast by Jefferson, the county seat, and to the northwest by Talmo. U.S. Route 129 passes through the northeast side of the city, leading northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Gainesville and southeast through Jefferson 24 miles (39 km) to Athens.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Pendergrass has a total area of 3.1 square miles (7.9 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.48%, are water.[4] The city is part of the Middle Oconee River watershed.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 431 people, 156 households, and 117 families residing in the city. The population density was 212.8 people per square mile (82.4/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 84.4 per square mile (32.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.93% Native American, 0.46% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.18% of the population.

Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Pendergrass GA

Pendergrass 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 right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Overview. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Pendergrass GA.

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