How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Screven Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Screven GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many prospective students begin 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 issues as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Screven GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Screven GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 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 general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Screven GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Screven GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Screven GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program 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. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Screven GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes 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, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Screven GA area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Screven healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Screven GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 attend a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Screven GA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may 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 Screven Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Screven GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Screven is a city in Wayne County, Georgia, United States. The population was 702 at the 2000 census. Although it was a railroad town as early as 1847, it was not officially chartered until August 19, 1907.
In 1857 the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railroad Company's line from Savannah, Georgia to Screven (then known as Station Seven) was completed when then trestle was built over the Altamaha River at Doctortown. Prior to this, the tracks connected the town to Thomasville, then a popular resort destination for wealthy Northerners and Europeans. The town was named for Dr. James Proctor Screven of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad. After Dr. Screven's death in 1859, his son John Bryan Screven took over the railroad and continued its development. Both men served as mayor of Savannah. A section of the tracks just outside Screven on the Little Satilla is still known as the Abutment, the name it was given during the construction of the tracks.
The town was originally in the 4th land District of Appling County and moved into Wayne County when the county lines were redrawn after the American Civil War ended. The Confederate States Army had a training camp, Camp Harrison, in Screven for a short time in the Fall of 1860. The soldiers came by train to Screven.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Screven GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Screven GA.
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