How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Cordele Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cordele GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Cordele GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type 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 practitioners but may 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
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Cordele GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to 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 earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Cordele GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Cordele GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Cordele GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following 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 School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college 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. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Cordele GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Cordele GA area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Cordele medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Cordele GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cordele GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cordele Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cordele GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
In November 1864, the area that is now Cordele served as the temporary capital of Georgia. During the last days of the Confederacy, Georgia's war governor Joseph E. Brown used his rural farmhouse to escape the wrath of Sherman's March to the Sea. During that time the farmhouse, which Brown called "Dooly County Place," served as the official capital for only a few days. It was replaced in 1890 by the Suwanee Hotel, located in what became downtown Cordele. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in late 1994 and was rebuilt.
Cordele was founded in 1888 by J.E.D. Shipp of Americus. The town was located at the junction of two major railroads – the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery line, and the Georgia Southern & Florida. As the railroads brought more people and business to the newly settled territory, Cordele experienced phenomenal growth. Before 1905 Cordele was located in southern Dooly County, 9 miles (14 km) from the county seat in Vienna. With Cordele's continued progress, many in the community felt the need for a seat of government to be closer than Vienna. Crisp County was formed in 1905 by taking a portion of southern Dooly County, and Cordele became its county seat.
By August 1930, Cordele housed the Crisp County Hydroelectric System, the first county-owned electric system. Located on the Flint River, the hydroelectric plant continues to operate, and the resulting Lake Blackshear has attracted residents to its waterfront properties.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Cordele GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Cordele GA.
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