How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Franklin Springs Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Franklin Springs GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Franklin Springs GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support 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 potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Franklin Springs GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some 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 usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Franklin Springs GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform 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 getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Franklin Springs GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, 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 process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Franklin Springs GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school 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 often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Franklin Springs GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’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. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Franklin Springs GA area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Franklin Springs health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Franklin Springs GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Franklin Springs GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask 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 Franklin Springs Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Franklin Springs GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Franklin Springs, Georgia
Franklin Springs is located in southeastern Franklin County at 34°17′5″N 83°8′36″W / 34.28472°N 83.14333°W / 34.28472; -83.14333 (34.284598, -83.143402). It is bordered to the east by Royston. U.S. Route 29 passes through the center of the city, leading east 2 miles (3 km) to the center of Royston and southwest 28 miles (45 km) to Athens. Carnesville, the Franklin County seat, is 9 miles (14 km) to the northwest via Georgia State Route 145.
As of the census of 2000, there were 762 people, 208 households, and 133 families residing in the city. The population density was 363.6 people per square mile (140.1/km²). There were 227 housing units at an average density of 108.3/sq mi (41.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.90% White, 6.82% African American, 1.71% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.
There were 208 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.93.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Franklin Springs GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your selection. 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, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What’s A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Franklin Springs GA.
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