How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Hampton Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hampton GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate 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 want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Hampton GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices available 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Hampton 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 basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent option for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Hampton GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Hampton GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Hampton GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Hampton GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing 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 concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Hampton GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Hampton healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that initial job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Hampton GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hampton GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Hampton Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hampton GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hampton is a city in southwestern Henry County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,987, up from 3,857 at the 2000 census. By 2015 the estimated population was 7,372. "Hampton" mailing addresses outside the city limits reach into rural parts of eastern Clayton County and northern Spalding County. It is a southeastern suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The city was once known as "Bear Creek" or "Bear Creek Station", named after a creek that runs through the area. The town was moved, established and renamed in 1873 when the Central Railroad of Georgia was built approx. one mile to the east. It was named after Brig. General Wade Hampton, an American soldier in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Henry County Airport are located 3 miles (5 km) west of Hampton. The Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, the Federal Aviation Administration's ARTCC for the airspace over Atlanta and other parts of the Southeast U.S., is located in Hampton.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Program Hampton GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right 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 life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Programs Near Me. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Hampton GA.
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