How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Hinesville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hinesville GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each 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 kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Hinesville GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size 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 medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Training Courses
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Hinesville 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 essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Hinesville GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Hinesville GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Hinesville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, 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 College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Hinesville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine 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 obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Hinesville GA area healthcare providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Hinesville healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Hinesville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college 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 broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can 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 prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hinesville GA, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hinesville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hinesville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hinesville is a city in Liberty County, Georgia, United States. The population was 33,437 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Liberty County. Nearby Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville are part of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area, which comprises all of Liberty County and neighboring Long County.
Hinesville was founded in 1837. That same year, the seat of Liberty County was transferred to Hinesville from Riceboro. It was incorporated as a city in 1916. The city is named for Charleton Hines, a state senator.
Hinesville is located next to the Atlantic coast which has an abundance of coastal streams and waterways. It is known for its pine trees, oaks, deer, wild hogs, and other wildlife. The Cay Creek Wetlands is a waterway that sits in Midway, Georgia and Hinesville in which can be seen nature and the historical Liberty Trail. It is the second largest city on U.S. Route 84 in Georgia after Valdosta. It is 58 miles west from U.S. Route 84 eastern terminus and 275 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Hineville was founded by Samuel Bethea Jr.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Hinesville GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right 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 on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Near Me. 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, don’t forget 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 subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Hinesville GA.
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