How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Young Harris Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Young Harris GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important factors as well. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Young Harris GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Courses
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Young Harris GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 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 usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Young Harris 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 ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Young Harris GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Young Harris GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive 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 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 examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Young Harris GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must 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 example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’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 avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Young Harris GA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Young Harris health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Young Harris GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching environment 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 to work full time, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Young Harris GA, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Young Harris Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Young Harris GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Young Harris, Georgia
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 899 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 90.9% White, 2.6% Black, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 0.8% from two or more races. 4.0% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 604 people, 112 households, and 74 families residing in the city. The population density was 591.2 people per square mile (228.6/km²). There were 134 housing units at an average density of 131.2 per square mile (50.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.52% White, 1.66% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.50% Asian, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.
There were 112 households out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.74.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant College Young Harris GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Best Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Young Harris GA.
More Medical Locations in Georgia