How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Morrow Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Morrow GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools 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 a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Morrow GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available 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 Programs
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Morrow 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 provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature 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 medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Morrow GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Morrow GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Morrow GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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. Additionally, if you anticipate 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 Morrow GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get 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 decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Morrow GA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Morrow healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Morrow GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Morrow GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Morrow Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Morrow GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Morrow is located north of the center of Clayton County at 33°34′43″N 84°20′24″W / 33.57861°N 84.34000°W / 33.57861; -84.34000 (33.578477, -84.340117). It is bordered to the north by Lake City and to the northwest by Forest Park. Downtown Atlanta is 13 miles (21 km) to the north. Interstate 75 passes through the southern part of the city, with access from Exit 233. The Southlake Mall is in the southwest part of the city near I-75.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,882 people, 1,731 households, and 1,166 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,656.9 people per square mile (639.0/km²). There were 1,823 housing units at an average density of 618.7 per square mile (238.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.1% African American, 36.4% White, 0.3% Native American, 12.9% Asian, 4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6% of the population.
There were 1,731 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.26.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Morrow GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 Medical Assistant School Time. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Morrow GA.
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