How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Stockbridge Georgia
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stockbridge GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start 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 role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Stockbridge GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based 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 assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Stockbridge GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to 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 training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Stockbridge GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Stockbridge GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind 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 discussed at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Stockbridge GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Stockbridge GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Stockbridge GA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Stockbridge medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stockbridge GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can 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 offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stockbridge GA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, 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 Stockbridge Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stockbridge GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The area was settled in 1829 when Concord Methodist Church was organized near present-day Old Stagecoach Road. It was granted a post office on April 5, 1847, named for a traveling professor, Levi Stockbridge, who passed through the area many times before the post office was built. He was said to be well known and respected in his namesake community. Others contend that the city was named after Thomas Stock, who was State Surveyor and president of the Georgia State Senate in the 1820s.
In 1881, the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad was to pass through Stockbridge between Macon and Atlanta. The settlers who owned the land about Old Stockbridge asked such a high price for their land that two prominent Atlanta citizens, John W. Grant and George W. Adair, bought a tract about a mile south of Old Stockbridge and offered lots at a reasonable price. Here the railroad built their depot and many lots were sold. The depot was located about 600 feet (180 m) north of what is now North Henry Blvd but was destroyed by the Southern Railway in the early 1980s.
On May 6, 1992, Mayor Rudy Kelley received a letter from John Stockbridge of South Carolina requesting a letter of "Greeting" from the City of Stockbridge to the attendees of the first reunion of the Stockbridge family. In his letter, he mentioned that he grew up in Georgia and had been told as a child that the city of Stockbridge was named after his great-great-grandfather Levi Stockbridge, who had traveled back and forth from the North to his property in Florida and stopped here on his journey.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Stockbridge GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate 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 decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Become A Medical Assistant In 6 Weeks. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided 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 Stockbridge GA.
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