How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Hartwell Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hartwell GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Hartwell GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Programs
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Hartwell GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for those 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 choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Hartwell GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Hartwell GA medical employers just 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 sit 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 also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Hartwell GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs 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 college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Hartwell GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously 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. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hartwell GA area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Hartwell healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Hartwell GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hartwell GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hartwell Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hartwell GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hartwell is located in central Hart County at 34°21′10″N 82°55′52″W / 34.35278°N 82.93111°W / 34.35278; -82.93111 (34.352738, -82.931161). It sits 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Lake Hartwell, which acquired its name from the city. Hartwell is in the Piedmont region of Georgia, or the Upland South, and lies 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Toccoa.
U.S. Route 29 passes through the center of Hartwell, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to the South Carolina border at Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River, and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to Royston. Anderson, South Carolina, is 23 miles (37 km) to the northeast via US 29, and Athens, Georgia, is 43 miles (69 km) to the southwest. Georgia State Route 51 also passes through Hartwell, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to Reed Creek and west 9 miles (14 km) to Bowersville.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,469 people. There were 2,266 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 61.33% White, 34.53% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.07% of the population.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant School Hartwell GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Hartwell GA.
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