How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Springfield Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Springfield GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Springfield GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Springfield GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Springfield GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Springfield GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections 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 students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Springfield GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the program you choose 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 must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. 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, many prospective Springfield GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially 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, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Springfield GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Springfield medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Springfield GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springfield GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Springfield Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Springfield GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Springfield is a city in Effingham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,852 at the 2010 census, up from 1,821 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Effingham County. Springfield is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Springfield is the seat of government for Effingham County.Ebenezer was the county seat from 1797 to 1799. In 1799, Effingham County had three different county seats. The state legislature appointed a commission to select a new centrally located site for the permanent county seat. A location five miles from the center of the county was chosen and named Springfield, for the plantation of General David Blackshear.
The county government surveyed the new town, and designated streets, lots, and the public squares that were to be used for the courthouse and the jail. The lots were sold to finance the construction of these public buildings. A map drawn in 1821 shows four north–south streets and nine east–west streets. Development of the new county seat was slow, as it was isolated from customary routes of trade. At the turn of the 20th century, it was listed as having only about twelve houses.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Springfield GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 Medical Assistant Externship. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Springfield GA.
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