How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Fairburn Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Fairburn GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Fairburn GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Programs
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Fairburn GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided 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 element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Fairburn GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Fairburn GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Fairburn GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Fairburn GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Fairburn GA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Fairburn healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Fairburn GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may 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 furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairburn GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Fairburn Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Fairburn GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Fairburn is located along a railroad line and was the county seat of Campbell County starting in 1871. It was chosen as county seat in a referendum in 1871 that was spurred by the original seat of Campbellton refusing to allow the Atlanta & West Point Railroad line through on account of the anticipated noise in the 1850s. The railroad instead passed through Fairburn. Campbellton then faded away as Fairburn grew. The government of Campbell County went bankrupt in 1931 during the Great Depression and, along with Milton County to the north, was absorbed into Fulton County when 1932 began.
Fairburn is located at 33°33′45″N 84°34′53″W / 33.56250°N 84.58139°W / 33.56250; -84.58139 (33.562411, -84.581443). Fairburn is located along Interstate 85, which leads northeast 20 miles (32 km) to downtown Atlanta and southwest 142 miles (229 km) to Montgomery, Alabama. Georgia State Route 74 also runs through the city, leading south 13 miles (21 km) to Peachtree City.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,464 people, 1,879 households, and 1,416 families residing in the city. The population density was 750.9 people per square mile (289.8/km²). There were 2,005 housing units at an average density of 275.5 per square mile (106.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.64% African American, 43.08% White, 0.29% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 6.46% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.01% of the population.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Fairburn GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Becoming A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Fairburn GA.
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