How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Rome Georgia
Once you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rome GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students start by researching 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, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Rome GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Training Courses
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Rome GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually 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 prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Rome GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Rome GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Rome GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Rome GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Rome GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Rome medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that initial job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Rome GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rome GA, verify that those times are offered. You may 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 will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Rome Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rome GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,303. It is the largest city in Northwest Georgia and the 19th largest city in the state.
Rome was built at the confluence of the Etowah and the Oostanaula rivers, forming the Coosa River. Because of its strategic advantages, this area was long occupied by the Creek and later the Cherokee people. National leaders such as Major Ridge and John Ross resided here before Indian Removal.
The city has developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, a feature that inspired the early European-American settlers to name it for Rome, the longtime capital of Italy. It developed in the antebellum period as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Rome GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Do Medical Assistants Do. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Rome GA.
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