How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Powder Springs Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Powder Springs GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Powder Springs GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Powder Springs GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical 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 facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Powder Springs GA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Powder Springs GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Powder Springs GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Powder Springs GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage 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 determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Powder Springs GA area medical providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Powder Springs health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Powder Springs 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 healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate 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 at night or on weekends near Powder Springs GA, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy 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 Powder Springs Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Powder Springs GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Powder Springs, Georgia
In 2015 the city elected its first black mayor, Al Thurman. He was the first African American to be elected as mayor in Cobb County, but was one of several elected in small towns in Georgia in 2015.
The town of Powder Springs was incorporated as Springville in 1838 in the lands of two Cherokee Indian leaders. Gold had been discovered in Georgia ten years earlier, and the first European-American settlers came to find gold. The settlers found little gold in the mines at Lost Mountain and off Brownsville Road. It was at about this time that the Cherokee people were forced off their land and removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River on the Trail of Tears.
Springville was renamed as Powder Springs in 1859. The name was derived from the seven springs in the city limits. The water in these springs contains some 26 minerals that turn the surrounding sand black like gunpowder – hence the earlier name of Gunpowder Springs.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Powder Springs GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your selection. 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, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Powder Springs GA.
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