How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Locust Grove Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Locust Grove GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Locust Grove 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 an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Courses
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Locust Grove GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, some 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Locust Grove GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Locust Grove GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Locust Grove GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Locust Grove GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Locust Grove GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Locust Grove health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Locust Grove 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 a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience 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 school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Locust Grove GA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Locust Grove Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Locust Grove GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Locust Grove, Georgia
Locust Grove is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,402 at the 2010 census, up from 2,322 in 2000. Some unincorporated communities such as Luella and many rural areas surround Locust Grove, and those communities have Locust Grove postal addresses.
The city of Locust Grove derived its name from a grove of locust trees that could be seen throughout the town. Locust Grove was a major rail distribution center for cotton, peaches and other farm products. The city had three cotton gins and several warehouses. In 1870, the first store was built on Main Street. Since that time many new businesses have moved to Locust Grove.
In 1893, the town was incorporated and the papers were officially signed on December 20, 1893. The original city limit extended one mile north and south from the train depot in the heart of town and a half-mile east and west of the railroad. The city government consisted of a mayor and five council members. The first to fill these positions were appointed until elections could take place. The first mayor was M.P. Sowell. Those appointed to the first city council were G.P. Combs, C.M. Mahone, J.L. Garnder, R.C. Brown and W.H. Peek. The first city clerk was C. W. Williams.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Course Locust Grove GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Short Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Locust Grove GA.
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