How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Manchester Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Manchester GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Manchester GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers 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 facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Manchester GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as 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 classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Manchester GA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right option for you. Between the online classes 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, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Manchester GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Manchester GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, 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 Manchester GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Manchester GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Manchester health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Manchester GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program 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 attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Manchester GA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Manchester Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Manchester GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Manchester is in west central Georgia along Georgia State Route 85, which leads southwest 39 miles (63 km) to Columbus and northeast 10 miles (16 km) to Woodbury. Georgia 85 meets Georgia State Route 190 south of the city, which leads west 18 miles (29 km) to Pine Mountain. Georgia 85 also meets Georgia State Route 41 in the city, which leads southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Woodland and northwest 4 miles (6 km) to Warm Springs.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,769 people, 1,629 households, and 1,057 families residing in the city. The population density was 698.1 people per square mile (269.7/km²). There were 1,853 housing units at an average density of 324.4 per square mile (125.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.22% White, 42.23% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.
There were 1,629 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 21.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.09.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Manchester GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether 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 must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 9 Month Medical Assistant Program. 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Manchester GA.
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