How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Union City Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Union City GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college 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 furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Union City GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Union City 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 essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Union City GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified 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 a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Union City GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Union City GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when evaluating programs. To assist 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 final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Union City GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Union City GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Union City health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Union City GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Union City GA, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Union City Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Union City GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Union City, Georgia
The current mayor[when?] is Vince Williams, and council members include: Brian Jones, Angelette Mealing, Christina Hobbs, and Shayla Nealy. The City Manager is LaSonja Filliingame and City Clerk is Shandrella Jewett.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.3 square miles (50.0 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2), or 0.83%, is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,456 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 81.5% Black, 8.6% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from some other race and 1.6% from two or more races. 7.0% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Union City GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper 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 lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Classes. But regardless of the type 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Union City GA.
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