How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Pooler Georgia
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pooler GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Pooler GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific 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 Courses
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Pooler GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks 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 typically be performed in Pooler GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Pooler GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate 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 provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Pooler GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Pooler GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at 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 concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? 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 fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Pooler GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Pooler healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Pooler GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pooler GA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Pooler Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Pooler GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Pooler is a city in Chatham County, Georgia, United States. According to 2010 US Census, the population was 19,140, a threefold increase over the 2000 count of 6,239. The 2013 population estimate was 21,187. Pooler is located northwest of Savannah along I-95 and Interstate 16.
During the Civil War, Pooler was a railway stop called Pooler's Station—the last stop before Savannah on the Central of Georgia Railway. In December 1864, Pooler was a meeting place for Union officers led by William Tecumseh Sherman, who negotiated with Savannah authorities for the strategic port city's peaceful surrender.
Today, Pooler is the center for commercial development in west Chatham County. Godley Station, the center for business development, has been successful in attracting large companies such as construction equipment manufacturer JCB to the area. Newer shopping centers such as The Shops at Godley Station are bringing new revenue to the area. Low crime and a small-town community atmosphere have all been factors in its explosive growth. Pooler is now one of Georgia's fastest-growing cities.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Pooler GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime 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 nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Schools. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Pooler GA.
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