How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Shellman Georgia
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Shellman GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes 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 also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Shellman GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Shellman GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to finish, 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 typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Shellman GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Shellman GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Shellman GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. 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 prospective Shellman GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Shellman GA area medical providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Shellman health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Shellman GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Shellman GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Shellman Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Shellman GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Shellman is a city in Randolph County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,166 at the 2000 census. Buildings in the commercial center have been designated as an historic district and listed in 1985 on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,166 people, 407 households, and 297 families residing in the city. The population density was 369.8 people per square mile (142.9/km²). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 147.5 per square mile (57.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.53% White, 68.87% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.17% Pacific Islander, and 0.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
There were 407 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.45.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Shellman GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right 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 info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Online. But regardless 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Shellman GA.
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