How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Perkins Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Perkins GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most future students begin 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 as well. You may want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Perkins GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Programs
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Perkins GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Perkins GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Perkins GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained 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). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Perkins GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To begin 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 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Perkins GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Perkins GA area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Perkins medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Perkins GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Perkins GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Perkins Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Perkins GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant School Perkins GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Night School. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Perkins GA.
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