How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Camilla Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Camilla GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Camilla GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Camilla GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational 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 often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Camilla GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Camilla GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, 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 comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Camilla GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training 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 accepted organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Camilla GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn 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 naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Camilla GA area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Camilla healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Camilla GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might 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 increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Camilla GA, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Camilla Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Camilla GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Camilla and Mitchell County were originally Creek country, surrendered to the United States in the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson. Georgia divided the land ceded by Native Americans into lots to be given away in land lotteries. The lottery of 1820 awarded lands covering much of the southwest section of the state (applying only to land south of the future Lee County line and extending west to Chattahoochee and east to settled counties in east Georgia), including the area later known as Mitchell County. Despite having access to free land, few people moved to the region. Citizens hesitated to improve land, according to an early twentieth-century history the region "which God Almighty had left in an unfinished condition." It took approximately forty years (1820–1857) for the area to obtain its necessary legal population to become a separate county, after which Camilla became the county seat.
Camilla became the site of a racially-motivated political riot on Saturday, September 19, 1868. Determined to promote political and social reform with an organized rally, 150–300 freedmen, along with Republican political candidates, marched toward the town's courthouse square for the rally. The local sheriff and "citizens committee" in the majority-white town warned the black and white activists of the impending violence and demanded that they forfeit their guns, even though carrying weapons was customary at the time. The marchers refused to give up their guns and continued to the courthouse square, where a group of local whites, quickly deputized by the sheriff, fired upon them. This assault forced the Republicans and freedmen to retreat as locals gave chase into the swamps, killing an estimated nine to fifteen of the black rally participants while wounding forty others. "Whites proceeded through the countryside over the next two weeks, beating and warning Negroes that they would be killed if they tried to vote in the coming election." The Camilla Massacre was the culmination of smaller acts of violence committed by white inhabitants that had plagued southwest Georgia since the end of the Civil War.(pp. 1–2)
On 23 July 1962, a group of civil rights activists tried to visit fellow demonstrators from Albany, Georgia that had been jailed in Camilla. While the rally took place, Marion King, wife of Albany Movement's vice president Slater King, was beaten to the ground and kicked by Camilla police guards until she was unconscious. Mrs. King was pregnant at the time and had her young children with her. She suffered a miscarriage after the ordeal. The 2012 song Camilla from the eponymous album by Caroline Herring pays a tribute to Mrs. King's memory.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Camilla GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing 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, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, for example 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 Classes Needed For 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Camilla GA.
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