How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Perry Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Perry GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Perry GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available 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 Education
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Perry GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed 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 usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Perry GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Perry GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Perry GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Perry GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose 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. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Perry GA area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Perry medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Perry GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Perry 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 also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Perry Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Perry GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Perry is a city in Houston and Peach counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is the county seat of Houston County. The population was 13,839 at the 2010 census, up from 9,602 at the 2000 census. As of 2015 the estimated population was 15,457. It is part of the Warner Robins, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, within the Macon–Bibb County–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1823 as "Wattsville", the town was located near the center of Houston County and served as its courthouse. The name was soon changed to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town on December 9, 1824. The original city limit was a circle, one mile in diameter, except where bounded on the north by Big Indian Creek.
Antebellum industry in Perry included gristmills, sawmills, and cotton gins. The Houston Home Journal (now the Houston Times-Journal) began publishing in 1870. Cotton was the most significant commodity crop into the 20th century.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant College Perry GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Medical School. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Perry GA.
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