Category Archives: South Carolina

What Is A Medical Assistant Walterboro SC

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Walterboro South Carolina

Walterboro SC medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Walterboro SC, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Walterboro SC nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Walterboro SC clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type 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 physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under South Carolina law, some prefer 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 Courses

Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Walterboro SC health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Walterboro SCThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have 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 pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Walterboro SC area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Walterboro SC medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Walterboro SC medical assistant programsBefore you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Walterboro SC with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Walterboro SC employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Walterboro SC area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Walterboro medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Walterboro SC area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to observe 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 program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Walterboro SC, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Walterboro South Carolina?

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

Walterboro, South Carolina

Walterboro is a city in Colleton County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,398 at the 2010 census.[1] It is the county seat of Colleton County.[4] Walterboro is located 48 miles (77 km) west of Charleston and is located near the ACE Basin region in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is known as The Front Porch of the Lowcountry.

Walterboro (originally spelled "Walterborough") was founded in 1783 as a summer retreat for local planters looking to escape their malaria-ridden, Lowcountry plantations. The original settlement was located on a hilly area, covered with pine and hickory trees and named "Hickory Valley". Two of the earliest settlers were Paul and Jacob Walter. The two brothers owned plantations in nearby Jacksonboro. Paul's small daughter Mary was taken ill with malaria, a common disease amongst the families who built their plantations in the marshy areas of the Lowcountry, suitable to rice production. To save Mary's life the two brothers went looking for a more healthy location in which to live during the summer months and started the town that was later named for them. In 1817, Walterboro was named the third county seat of Colleton County, and has remained such until the present. This was followed by the construction of a county courthouse and jail in 1821, the courthouse being design by well-known architect Robert Mills. The town quickly spread out from the original Hickory Valley location, its population growth fueled successively by the town becoming the county seat in 1821, the establishment of a railroad line connecting the city with Columbia and Charleston in the 1880s, the establishment of an airfield in the 1930s and more recently the establishment of Interstate 95 in the 1960s, making the town a prime overnight stop on the road to Florida or New York.

In 1942, Walterboro became home to the Walterboro Army Air Field, a sub-base of Columbia Army Air Base and part of the overall network of army air training facilities that sprang up across the US during World War II. The base was established to provide advanced air combat training to fighter and bomber groups. It also hosted the largest camouflage school in the United States, as well as a 250-person prisoner of war camp. In 1944 the airfield changed commands and became an advanced combat training base for individual fighters, primarily the black trainees graduating from Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. Over 500 of the famed Tuskegee Airmen trained at Walterboro Army Air Field between April 1944 and October 1945, including individuals training as replacement pilots for the 332nd Fighter Squadron and the entire 447th Bombardment Group. The base closed in October 1945 and returned to its origins as a local airfield.

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Walterboro SC

Walterboro SC medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Is A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Walterboro SC.

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