How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Quitman Georgia
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Quitman GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind 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. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Quitman GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Training Programs
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Quitman GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way 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 basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Quitman GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Quitman GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing 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 from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Quitman GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Quitman GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Quitman GA area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Quitman healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Quitman GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Quitman GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Quitman Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Quitman GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Georgetown, Quitman County, Georgia
Georgetown is a city in Quitman County, Georgia, United States. It is at the Alabama-Georgia state line next to Walter F. George Lake. The population was 2,513 at the 2010 census. In 2006, Georgetown and Quitman County voted to consolidate their governments, becoming the smallest such consolidated entity in the Lower 48 states.
Settled in the early 1830s, Georgetown was first named Tobanana for the nearby creek. The Tobanana Post Office was established on January 10, 1833. On September 21, 1836, the name of the town was changed to "Georgetown" after the historic neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
Georgetown was designated in 1859 as the county seat of Quitman County and was laid out as a town by order of the Inferior Court. The town was incorporated by an act of the legislature on December 9, 1859.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Quitman GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools 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, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Quitman GA.
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