How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Thomaston Georgia
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Thomaston GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included some 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 role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is ensure that the Thomaston GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Thomaston GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Thomaston GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Thomaston GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Thomaston 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 issues that you must examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following 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 Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Thomaston GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course 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 certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Thomaston GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Thomaston health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Thomaston GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomaston GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Thomaston Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Thomaston GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Program Thomaston GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 Medical Assistant Colleges. But irrespective 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Thomaston GA.
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Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
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