How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Tallapoosa Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Tallapoosa GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Tallapoosa GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions 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 providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Tallapoosa GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Tallapoosa GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Tallapoosa GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Tallapoosa GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Tallapoosa GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’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. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Tallapoosa GA area medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Tallapoosa healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Tallapoosa GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tallapoosa GA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Tallapoosa Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Tallapoosa GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Tallapoosa, incorporated in 1860, is located in Haralson County, in northwest Georgia, approximately 55 miles (89 km) west of Atlanta, 4 miles (6 km) north of Interstate 20, and 4 miles east of the Alabama state line. Its geographic coordinates are 33°45′N 85°17′W / 33.750°N 85.283°W / 33.750; -85.283 (33.7437, -85.2879).
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,789 people, 1,187 households, and 764 families residing in the city. The population density was 375.6 people per square mile (144.9/km²). There were 1,334 housing units at an average density of 179.7 per square mile (69.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.18% White, 6.63% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.
There were 1,187 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Tallapoosa GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 How Long Is Medical Assistant School. 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Tallapoosa GA.
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