How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Reidsville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Reidsville GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, 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 briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Reidsville GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may 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 medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Reidsville GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design 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 applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Reidsville GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Reidsville GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Reidsville GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Reidsville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring 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, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Reidsville GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Reidsville medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Reidsville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Reidsville GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Reidsville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Reidsville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Reidsville is a city in Tattnall County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,594 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Tattnall County. The Georgia State Prison is near Reidsville.
Reidsville was founded in about 1828 and was designated county seat of Tattnall County in 1832 by the Georgia General Assembly. It was incorporated as a town in 1838 and as a city in 1905. The city was named after Robert R. Reid, territorial governor of Florida.
During the events of World War Two, Reidsville was the home to at least one, though some reports suggest two, prisoner of war camps for captured Nazi personnel. The prison camp's location has largely been lost to time, but is believed to have stood near the current location of a gas station/self-storage company, near the fringes of the city. Archaeological research into the area has turned up a number of German artifacts, though with the development and addition of a number of houses, it is not clear if this was the location of the camp, or one of the many onion fields which the prisoners worked in.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Reidsville GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Job Description. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget 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 ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Reidsville GA.
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