How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Summerville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Summerville GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few 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 available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Summerville GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities 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 facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though 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 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 Training Courses
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Summerville 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 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to 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 frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Summerville GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Summerville GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative 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 Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type 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 comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Summerville GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Summerville GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Summerville GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Summerville medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Summerville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Summerville GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Summerville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Summerville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Summerville was founded in 1838 as seat of the newly formed Chattooga County. It was incorporated as a town in 1839 and as a city in 1909. Summerville was named from the fact it was a popular summer resort. The city thrived in the late 1880s with the construction of the Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railroad (later part of the Central of Georgia system).
The Chattooga County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in 1909. The Summerville Depot, completed by the Central of Georgia in 1918, is also listed on the National Register, and is home to several annual festivals.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.3 km²), all of it land. The city lies along the Chattooga River at the western base of an elongate mountain known as Taylor Ridge. U.S. Route 27 connects Summerville with Chattanooga, Tennessee, to the north, and Rome to the southeast. Georgia State Route 114 connects the city with Lyerly to the south, and Georgia State Route 48 connects the city with Menlo near the Alabama state line to the west.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Summerville GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective 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 need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant Exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Summerville GA.
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