How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Rockmart Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rockmart GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to look into 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 finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short 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 Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Rockmart GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Rockmart GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Rockmart GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Rockmart GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Rockmart GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Rockmart GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods 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 Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Rockmart GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Rockmart medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Rockmart GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high 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 wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal 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 instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rockmart GA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Rockmart Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rockmart GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Rockmart is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,199 according to a 2010 census. Rockmart developed as a railroad depot town when the Southern Railway built a station in the area. The community was incorporated in 1872, and was named from abundant deposits of slate in the area. The Rockmart Downtown Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rockmart is located at 34°00′14″N 85°02′57″W / 34.003952°N 85.049202°W / 34.003952; -85.049202. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.69%) is water. The majority of the city of Rockmart is located in Polk County; however, parts of Rockmart stretch into Paulding County as well.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,870 people, 1,541 households, and 1,027 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.0 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 1,681 housing units at an average density of 387.5 per square mile (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.82% White, 18.48% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant School Rockmart GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective 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 get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Online. But regardless 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Rockmart GA.
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