How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Thomson Georgia
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Thomson GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about 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 examining. And to assist 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Thomson GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Depending 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 tasked with giving direct support 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 duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Thomson GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed 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 normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Thomson 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 getting your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Thomson GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Thomson GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course 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 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Thomson GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose 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. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Thomson GA area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Thomson medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Thomson GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few 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 school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomson GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Thomson Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Thomson GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Thomson (originally called Slashes) is a city in McDuffie County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,778 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of McDuffie County. Thomson's nickname is "The Camellia City of the South", in honor of the thousands of camellia plants throughout the city. Thomson was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson and incorporated February 15, 1854 as a town and in 1870 as a city. It is part of the Augusta – Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Thomson, originally called Slashes, was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson. In 1870, Thomson was designated seat of the newly formed McDuffie County. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1870.
The Old Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its original design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the home is said to be the home of ancestors of former president Jimmy Carter.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Thomson GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accredited Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective 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, be 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 ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Thomson GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia