How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Flowery Branch Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Flowery Branch GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Flowery Branch GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving 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 possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Flowery Branch GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Flowery Branch GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Flowery Branch GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Flowery Branch GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Flowery Branch GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Flowery Branch GA area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Flowery Branch health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Flowery Branch GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flowery Branch GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Flowery Branch Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Flowery Branch GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Flowery Branch, Georgia
Flowery Branch is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,679. It is part of the Gainesville, Georgia metropolitan area, and lies on the shores of Lake Lanier.
Flowery Branch was originally named Anaguluskee, a Cherokee Indian word meaning "flowers on the branch."  Other sources claim the original name was Nattagasska ("Blossom Creek"), which long-term residents recall as an alternative nickname for the town.
The Atlanta Falcons football team's training camp has been located in Flowery Branch since the start of the 2005 season. The city also hosts the Historic Caboose exhibit and the Historic Train Depot museum.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant School Flowery Branch GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Become A Medical Assistant In 6 Weeks. But irrespective of the kind 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Flowery Branch GA.
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