How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Swainsboro Georgia
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Swainsboro GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Swainsboro GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. 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 tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Education
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Swainsboro GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 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 usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend 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 pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs 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 satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Swainsboro GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Swainsboro GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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 apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Swainsboro GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Swainsboro GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn 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 of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Swainsboro GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Swainsboro healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Swainsboro GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, 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 positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Swainsboro GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Swainsboro Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Swainsboro GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Swainsboro is located near the center of Emanuel County at 32°35'37" North, 82°19'56" West (32.593743, -82.332146).U.S. Route 80 passes through the center of the city, and U.S. Route 1 bypasses it to the west. US 80 leads east 36 miles (58 km) to Statesboro and west 36 miles (58 km) to Dublin, while US 1 leads north 62 miles (100 km) to Augusta and south 106 miles (171 km) to Waycross. Interstate 16 is 14 miles (23 km) south of Swainsboro via US 1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.5 km2), of which 12.6 square miles (32.6 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.81%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,943 people, 2,685 households, and 1,836 families residing in the city. The population density was 560.5 people per square mile (216.4/km²). There were 3,051 housing units at an average density of 246.3 per square mile (95.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.06% White, 49.68% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 2.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Program Swainsboro GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on 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, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accredited Medical Assistant Programs Online. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Swainsboro GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia