How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training in Cairo Georgia
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Cairo GA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean 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 also. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Cairo GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although Cairo GA medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs and Certification
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Cairo GA 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 quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready 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 together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Cairo GA employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in regional Georgia medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Cairo GA is furnished.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Cairo GA or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when evaluating Georgia programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Cairo GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Cairo GA area medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the Cairo GA area schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous Georgia medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Cairo GA healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers in the Cairo GA area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college in the Cairo GA area to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Cairo GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program in Cairo GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Cairo GA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask applicants is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Medical Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes 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 discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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