How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program in Temple Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Temple GA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 issues as well. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges 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 offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Temple GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical 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 working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While Temple GA medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training and Certification
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Temple GA employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Temple GA employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in regional Georgia medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Temple GA is furnished.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant program options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Temple GA or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when evaluating Georgia programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Temple GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited Temple GA area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools 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 acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the Temple GA area colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous Georgia medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with local medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Temple GA health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts in the Temple GA area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school in the Temple GA area to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends in Temple GA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Program in Temple GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right 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, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Temple GA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask prospects is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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