How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Sharon Georgia
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sharon GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point 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 assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Sharon GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties 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 specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options 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
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Sharon GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Sharon GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Sharon GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine 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 selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Sharon GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Sharon GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to 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 obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Sharon GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Sharon healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Sharon GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, 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 Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive 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 practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sharon GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sharon Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sharon GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The community of Sharon is visible on maps as early as 1865. Its residents incorporated as a city in 1884. Around that time and into the 1890s, Sharon was bustling with thousands of travelers who came there for the reputed healing powers of the nearby Electric Health Resort, where it was said that exposure to bedrock in a subterranean chamber provided electrical healing powers. The resort, which included a hotel, lake, and post office, eventually burned down.
As of the census of 2000, there were 105 people, 46 households, and 28 families residing in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (52.0/km²). There were 53 housing units at an average density of 67.7 per square mile (26.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 27.62% White, 71.43% African American and 0.95% Asian.
There were 46 households out of which 17.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Sharon GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Scope Of Practice. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Sharon GA.
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