How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Winder Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Winder GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Winder GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Winder GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Winder GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Winder GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Winder GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose 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 enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Winder GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Winder GA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Winder health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Winder GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Winder GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Winder Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Winder GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Winder (pronounced WINE-der) is a city in Barrow County, Georgia, United States. It is located east of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The population was 14,099 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Barrow County.
Winder was a place for early settlement, being first occupied hundreds of years ago by Creek Indians, who called it Snodon. Activities centered around what are now Athens and Church streets. When white settlers established homes and farms near that village in 1793, the town was renamed, becoming The Jug, and, ten years later; Jug Tavern. At that time, the town had a population of 37 persons. The first school was built on 11.5 acres, known as the Academy Lot, located at the intersection of West Athens and Church streets. An historic marker now commemorates the site. For protection from hostile Indians, Fort Yargo was constructed, one of four such forts built in the area by the Humphrey brothers.
Jug Tavern grew slowly during the decades before the Civil War. The town, at the time of its origin, extended from the railroad crossing of Broad Street (then known as Jefferson Road) for one-half mile into three counties: Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett. In 1884, Jug Tavern was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly. It was first governed by a mayor and four aldermen who were elected annually. The first mayor, N. J. Kelly, took the oath of office on January 8, 1885.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Winder GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate 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 need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Become A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Winder GA.
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