How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Rincon Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rincon GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should 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 credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Rincon GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Education
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Rincon GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created 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 typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Rincon GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the right choice for you. With the online courses 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, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Rincon GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated 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 previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Rincon GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Rincon GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose 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 about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Rincon GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Rincon health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Rincon GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Rincon 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 any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Rincon Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rincon GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Rincon, in the southeast area of Effingham County, Georgia, was incorporated as a city in 1927. While the earliest settlers came to the area in 1751, the area had little development until the late 19th century.
During the American Civil War, when forces of the Union Army penetrated the South, thousands of slaves escaped from plantations to go to their lines. Many fell in with the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and followed his March to the Sea. Hundreds of fugitive African-Americans drowned during the campaign while trying to cross Ebenezer Creek near the site of present-day Rincon, outside of Savannah. In 2010 the Georgia Historical Society erected a historical marker about this event, as part of a major project to memorialize little-known events from the Civil War era and recognize African-American sacrifices for freedom.
Rincon's development was catalyzed by the coming of the railroad in the 1890s. A rail line was built from the Carolinas across the state line at the Savannah River and southward to Savannah. The name of the city is believed to have been adopted from the Spanish or Mexican name Rincón, after a small but prosperous town in Mexico. (Rincón means "corner.")
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Rincon GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Rincon GA.
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