How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Rutledge Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rutledge GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the colleges 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Rutledge GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Rutledge 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 generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some 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 option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational 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 frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as 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 met, but they can usually be carried out in Rutledge GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical 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 mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Rutledge GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Rutledge GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, 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 must enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Rutledge GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Rutledge GA area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Rutledge healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Rutledge GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Rutledge GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Rutledge Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rutledge GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749 – January 23, 1800) was an American politician, and youngest signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.
Like his eldest brother John Rutledge, Edward was born in Charleston. He was the youngest of seven children (5 sons and 2 daughters) born to Dr. John Rutledge and Sarah Hext. His father was a physician and colonist of Scots-Irish descent; his mother was born in South Carolina and was of English descent. Following his brothers John and Hugh he studied law in London at the Inns of Court. In 1772 he was admitted to the English bar (Middle Temple), and returned to Charleston to practice. He was married on March 1, 1774 to Henrietta Middleton (17 November 1750 – 22 April 1792), daughter of Henry Middleton. The couple had three children;
During the American Revolution Rutledge served along with his brother John representing South Carolina in the Continental Congress. He worked to have African Americans expelled from the Continental Army. Although a firm supporter of colonial rights, he (as a delegate) was instructed initially to oppose Lee's Resolution of independence; South Carolina's leaders were unsure that the time was "ripe." At age 26 he was the youngest delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Rutledge GA
It’s imperative to begin 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 begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Program. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Rutledge GA.
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