How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Helen Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Helen GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Helen GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential 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 rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Helen GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Helen GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Helen GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided 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 as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have 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 decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Helen GA with the most affordable 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 must look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Helen GA employers will not employ 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 create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get 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 decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Helen GA area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Helen healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Helen GA area and find out 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 healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Helen GA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Helen Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Helen GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Formerly a logging town that was in decline, the city resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian alpine town, in the Appalachians instead of the Alps. This design is mandated through zoning first adopted in 1969, so that the classic south-German style is present on every building, even on the small number of national franchisees present (such as Huddle House and Wendy's).
Because of this, tourism is the main industry in Helen, catering mostly to weekend visitors from the Atlanta area and also motorcyclists who enjoy riding the beautiful roads of Helen and its surrounding areas during all seasons. Helen is extremely crowded in late October, when autumn leaves typically peak. It also hosts its own Oktoberfest during September, October and November. There are many events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most well-known is Southern Worthersee, which is a stateside Volkswagen and Audi event that pays tribute to the Worthersee Tour in Austria with attendance of approximately 20,000 people. Also the annual hot-air balloon race held the first weekend in June.
The main road through town is north/south Georgia 75. The Helen stream gauge (HDCG1) is located on its bridge over the Chattahoochee in the middle of downtown. A parallel route to the west is labeled Georgia 75 Alt to identify it as a bypass route around the town and its massive traffic jams in the autumn and on some weekends.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Helen GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 6 Month Program For 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 provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Helen GA.
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