How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Commerce Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Commerce GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Commerce GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Commerce 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 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four 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 available online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Commerce GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Commerce GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Commerce GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program 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 intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Commerce GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Commerce GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Commerce medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Commerce GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout 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 monitor a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Commerce GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Commerce Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Commerce GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The Lacoda Trail, which extended from present-day Athens to the north Georgia mountains, was a significant trade and travel route through this area. (Georgia State Route 334, which follows a 9-mile (14 km) section of this ancient trail, was designated the "Lacoda Trail Memorial Parkway" by the Georgia General Assembly in 1998.)
Local histories that originated in the mid-1800s describe a territorial war between the Creeks and Cherokees over the land in the county during the 1770s. This war never occurred. The Cherokees were decisively defeated by the Koweta Creeks in 1754. For about a decade after their 1754 defeat, all Cherokee villages in the Georgia colony and the Hiwassee River valley in North Carolina were abandoned.William Bartram traveled through northeastern Georgia in 1773 and described the Creeks as being completely dominant over the Cherokees. The Cherokees never occupied or held title to lands within the boundaries of Jackson County.
The Creek Confederacy ceded its lands east of the Oconee River in 1785. A subsequent treaty in 1793 ceded the remainder of the land that was to become Jackson County. The last corridor of Creek land, located west of Jackson County, was ceded in 1818.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Commerce GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools 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, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Medical School. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Commerce GA.
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