How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Oxford Georgia
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oxford GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role 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 varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Oxford GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity 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 professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Oxford GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical 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.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. 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 choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Oxford GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Oxford GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty 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.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Oxford GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Oxford GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Oxford GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Oxford medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Oxford GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts 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 likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oxford GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Oxford Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oxford GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The town was named after Oxford University, the alma mater of the founders of Oxford College. The entire town is also designated as a shrine of the United Methodist Church. Additionally, Confederate soldiers are buried in a small cemetery on the grounds of Oxford College.
Properties in Oxford listed on the National Register of Historic Places include: Oxford Historic District and the Orna Villa, a mansion, which was built in 1825, which was used as a hospital during the American Civil War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,892 people, 509 households, and 387 families residing in the city. The population density was 740.0 people per square mile (285.4/km²). There were 534 housing units at an average density of 208.9 per square mile (80.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.62% White, 32.72% African American, 0.42% Native American, 4.07% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant School Oxford GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, 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 Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided 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 selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Oxford GA.
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