How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training in Whitesburg Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Whitesburg GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by researching 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Whitesburg GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based 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 responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While Whitesburg GA medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Courses and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Whitesburg GA employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Whitesburg GA employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary 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 typically be carried out in area Georgia medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Whitesburg GA is provided.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant program options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Whitesburg GA or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching Georgia schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Whitesburg GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Whitesburg GA area medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the Whitesburg GA area colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous Georgia medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Whitesburg GA medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers in the Whitesburg GA area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school in the Whitesburg GA area to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Whitesburg GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Program in Whitesburg GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate 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 lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But regardless of the type 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Whitesburg GA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask prospects is "What compelled you to select medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Cities in Georgia That May Be Of Interest