How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Statenville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Statenville GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Statenville GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can 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 confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Statenville GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have 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 to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Statenville GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Statenville GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Statenville GA with the lowest 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 should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Statenville GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma 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 elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Statenville GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Statenville medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Statenville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Statenville GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, 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 Statenville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Statenville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Statenville is an unincorporated community in and the county seat of Echols County, Georgia, United States. It is a census-designated place (CDP), with a population of 1,040 at the 2010 census. The ZIP code is 31648, and the area code 229.
The town of Statenville was originally called Troublesome. It grew up at a ford on the Alapaha River in the 1850s. Troublesome was renamed Statenville when the latter was designated county seat in 1858 of the newly-formed Echols County. It is named for James Watson Staten, but was erroneously incorporated as "Statesville" in 1859. In 1965, the state officially amended the city's charter to read "Statenville". In 1995, a new state law revoked the city charter, along with dozens of others in Georgia which had inactive governments. This left Echols and Webster as the only counties in Georgia with no incorporated communities whatsoever.
Statenville is located in western Echols County, just east of the Alapaha River. U.S. Route 129 passes through the community, leading north 27 miles (43 km) to Lakeland, south 6 miles (10 km) to the Florida border, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Jasper, Florida. Georgia State Route 94 crosses US 129 in the center of Statenville, leading east 28 miles (45 km) to Fargo and northwest 18 miles (29 km) to Valdosta.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Statenville GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Certified Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Statenville GA.
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