How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Grovetown Georgia
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Grovetown GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Grovetown GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Grovetown GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available 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 liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Grovetown GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Grovetown GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Grovetown GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive 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 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Grovetown GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Grovetown GA area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Grovetown health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Grovetown GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication 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 offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Grovetown GA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Grovetown Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Grovetown GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Grovetown is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area and the Central Savannah River Area. In the 2013 United States Census estimates, it had a population of 12,389. The mayor is Gary Jones.
Grovetown is located in southern Columbia County at 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694 (33.449324, -82.196972). Downtown Augusta is 15 miles (24 km) east. The northern boundary of Fort Gordon is 2 miles (3 km) south.
Grovetown is mainly served by Georgia State Route 223 (SR 223), known as Robinson Avenue from just northwest of Fort Gordon's Gate 2 to the intersection with Harlem–Grovetown Road, and SR 388, known as Wrightsboro Road past this point. At this intersection, SR 388 takes on the Wrightsboro Road name until it meets Katherine Street. At this intersection, the highway turns left onto Horizon South Parkway, while Wrightsboro Road continues toward Augusta. Harlem–Grovetown Road connects the city with Harlem.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant College Grovetown GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing 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, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Online. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Grovetown GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 17