Medical Assistant Career Thomasville GA

How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Thomasville Georgia

Thomasville GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Thomasville 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 ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location 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 as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Thomasville GA nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Thomasville GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Training Programs

Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Thomasville GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive 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 component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Thomasville GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Thomasville GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Thomasville GA medical employers simply 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). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Thomasville GA medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Thomasville GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following 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 confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Thomasville GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Thomasville GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Thomasville health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Thomasville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville GA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Thomasville Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Thomasville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Thomasville, Georgia

The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.[4]

In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second best historic small town on USA Today's 10 Best List Reader's Choice after Bisbee (Arizona) but ahead of Abingdon (Virginia), Mackinac Island (Michigan), and Astoria (Oregon).

Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.[5]

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Thomasville GA

Thomasville GA medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate info 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 personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision 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 choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Thomasville GA.

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