Medical Assistant Classes Online Ellenwood GA

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Ellenwood Georgia

Ellenwood GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Ellenwood GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Ellenwood GA nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Ellenwood GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners 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:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Courses

Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Ellenwood GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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

woman attending medical assistant school online in Ellenwood GAThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Ellenwood GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Ellenwood GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for 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 CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Ellenwood GA medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Ellenwood GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when assessing programs. 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 final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Ellenwood GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally 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 compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Ellenwood GA area health care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Ellenwood medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Ellenwood GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ellenwood GA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Ellenwood Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Ellenwood GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Ellenwood, Georgia

Ellenwood is an unincorporated community in Clayton, Henry, Rockdale, and DeKalb counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The community is a southeast suburb of Atlanta and is located along Interstate 675 and GA state route 42.

Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Ellenwood GA

Ellenwood GA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Online. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Ellenwood GA.

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