How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Crawfordville Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Crawfordville GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may choose 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 college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Crawfordville GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. 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 tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Crawfordville GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade 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 practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Crawfordville GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Crawfordville GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably 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 examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Crawfordville GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school 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 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Crawfordville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Crawfordville GA area medical providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Crawfordville healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Crawfordville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Crawfordville GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Crawfordville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Crawfordville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Crawfordville was founded in 1825 as the seat of the newly formed Taliaferro County. It was incorporated as a town in 1826 and as a city in 1906. The community was named after William H. Crawford (1772–1834), U.S. Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury.
As of the census of 2000, there were 572 people, 260 households, and 163 families residing in the city. The population density was 182.4 people per square mile (70.3/km²). There were 312 housing units at an average density of 99.5 per square mile (38.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.43% White, 56.99% African American, 1.05% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.
There were 260 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.7% were married couples living together, 26.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.82.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Crawfordville GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Crawfordville GA.
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