Medical Assistant Classes Riverdale GA

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Riverdale Georgia

Riverdale GA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Riverdale GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Riverdale GA nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Riverdale GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying general support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Riverdale GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare 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 as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Riverdale GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Riverdale GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Riverdale GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly 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 be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Riverdale GA medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Riverdale GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Riverdale GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma 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 opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Riverdale GA area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Riverdale health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Riverdale GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Riverdale GA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Riverdale Georgia?

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

Riverdale, Georgia

Riverdale is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 15,134 at the 2010 census,[5] up from 12,478 in 2000. Riverdale is a suburb just south of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The area now known as Riverdale was settled before the Civil War. In 1887, a railroad, built from Atlanta and Fort Valley, passed through Riverdale. Farmers in the area provided wood for the railroad. In turn, the farmers would get fertilizer. As the railroad grew, it needed more land. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Rivers donated their land for the railroad to grow, and their land grew to become one of the railroad's main stops.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 12,478 people, 4,389 households, and 3,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,926.3 people per square mile (1,130.9/km²). There were 4,590 housing units at an average density of 1,076.4 per square mile (416.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.09% White, 67.42% African American, 0.30% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.

Select the Best Medical Assistant College Riverdale GA

Riverdale GA medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Riverdale GA.

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