How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Conyers Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Conyers GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short 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 offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Conyers GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Conyers 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 generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Conyers GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Conyers GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Conyers GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Conyers GA employers will not hire 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 examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose 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 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Conyers GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Conyers health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Conyers GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout 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 choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Conyers GA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training 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 responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Conyers Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Conyers GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Conyers is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, United States. The city is twenty-four miles (38.6 km) east of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,195. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County. The formerly separate town of Milstead is now part of Conyers.
Before European settlement, the area which is now Conyers, along with the surrounding county of Rockdale, was occupied by mound-building Native Americans. As time progressed, the Muscogee (or Creek) and Cherokee natives shared a common border here. This border was known as the "Great Indian Road," and is known now as the "Hightower Trail". This trail was used by white settlers following the American Revolution.
Between 1816 and 1821, the area known as Rockdale was open for settlement. John Holcomb, a blacksmith, was the first settler in what is now Conyers. He settled where the current Rockdale County Courthouse is located, in the middle of Conyers on Main Street.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Conyers GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Conyers GA.
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