How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Whitesburg Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whitesburg GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Whitesburg GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Education
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Whitesburg 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 essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. 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 option for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Whitesburg GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Whitesburg GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps 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 exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Whitesburg GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Whitesburg GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to 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 instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare 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 prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Whitesburg GA area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Whitesburg medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Whitesburg GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitesburg GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, 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 emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whitesburg Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Whitesburg GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The McIntosh Reserve here is the former plantation of Chief William McIntosh, a prominent leader of the Lower Towns of the Creek Confederacy. He was executed at his home in 1825 on order of the National Council of the Creek Nation for having negotiated and signed the Treaty of Indian Springs that year, which ceded most of the Creek territory in Georgia and Alabama to the United States. The Creek National Council negotiated a new treaty with the United States the next year to gain a more favorable settlement, but most of the Creek were removed to Indian Territory in the 1820s and 1830s.
In the 21st century federally recognized tribes of the Creek include the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Kialegee Tribal Town, and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town of Oklahoma, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km²), of which 2.8 square miles (7.2 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (1.07%) is water. Whitesburg is located along the Chattahoochee River in southeastern Carroll County.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Whitesburg GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Training. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Whitesburg GA.
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