How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Rabun Gap Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rabun Gap GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of prospective 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, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start 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 Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Rabun Gap GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can 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. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect 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 Education
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Rabun Gap GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some 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 alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Rabun Gap GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Rabun Gap GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps 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 exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Rabun Gap GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Rabun Gap GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’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 college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain 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 opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Rabun Gap GA area medical providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Rabun Gap healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Rabun Gap GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Rabun Gap GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Rabun Gap Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rabun Gap GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (informally known as Rabun Gap) is a small, private college preparatory school located in Rabun County, Georgia, United States, in the Appalachian Mountains. It is both a boarding and a day school. Rabun Gap is notable for initiating the Foxfire magazine project in 1966, experiential education based on interviewing local people, and writing and publishing articles about their stories and oral traditions. This inspired numerous schools across the country to develop similar programs.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is one of the largest coeducational, college-preparatory boarding schools in the South, serving boarding and day students in grades 5–12, and in the 2017-2018 school year, it will be pre-K 4–12th, after the turn of the admissions/business office to an elementary school. Located in Rabun Gap, the 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) campus is cradled in the mountains of northeast Georgia. The school combines a strong academic program, mountain setting, and Presbyterian heritage to nurture and challenge students of diverse backgrounds as they prepare for college and a lifetime of service.
Andrew Jackson Ritchie, a Rabun County native, and his wife, Addie Corn Ritchie, founded the Rabun Gap Industrial School in 1903 to serve the children of the isolated and poverty-stricken community Rabun Gap. With $1 and a personal note, Ritchie bought a 5-acre (20,000 m2) hilltop for the school. Construction began on the two-story main building, designed by Atlanta architect Haralson Bleckley (son of Rabun County native Logan Bleckley), with pledges of cash support and manual labor. The school was open to both boys and girls.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Rabun Gap GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Rabun Gap GA.
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