How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Cobb Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cobb GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate 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 may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Cobb GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Cobb 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 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few 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 option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Cobb GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Cobb GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Cobb GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Cobb GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Cobb GA area healthcare providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Cobb health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Cobb GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cobb GA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cobb Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cobb GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cobb County, Georgia
Cobb County is a suburban county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2017, the population was 755,754, making it Georgia's third most-populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta.
Along with several adjoining counties, Cobb County was founded on December 3, 1832, by the Georgia General Assembly from the large Cherokee County territory—land northwest of the Chattahoochee River which the state confiscated from the Cherokee Nation and redistributed to settlers via lottery, following the passage of the federal Indian Removal Act. The county was named for Thomas Willis Cobb, a U.S. representative and senator from Georgia. It is believed that Marietta was named for his wife, Mary.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Cobb County as the most-educated in the state of Georgia and 12th among all counties in the US. It has ranked among the Top 100 wealthiest counties in the nation. In October 2017, Cobb was ranked as the "Least Obese County in Georgia"
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Cobb GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether 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 acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Where Can I Get My Medical Assistant Certification. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Cobb GA.
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