How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Grayson Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Grayson GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Grayson GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions 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 facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Grayson GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to go to 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 lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Grayson GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Grayson GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps 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. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Grayson GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, 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 mentioned previously, many prospective Grayson GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest 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 get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Grayson GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Grayson medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Grayson GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout 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 couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Grayson GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Grayson Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Grayson GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Grayson is located southeast of the center of Gwinnett County at 33°53′36″N 83°57′20″W / 33.89333°N 83.95556°W / 33.89333; -83.95556 (33.893306, -83.955420).Georgia State Route 20 is the main highway through town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) into Lawrenceville, the county seat, and southeast five miles to Loganville. Georgia State Route 84 (Grayson Parkway) leads southwest five miles to Snellville. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.53 square miles (6.55 km2), of which 2.47 square miles (6.40 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.15 km2), or 2.30%, is water.
Grayson suffered a damaging tornado on June 27, 1994, killing a 10-year-old girl. The city has been benefitting from exurban growth in eastern Gwinnett County, especially in the late 1990s and through the 2000s.
The city government of Grayson consists of a mayor and four council members. The current mayor is Allison Wilkerson, and the city council includes Bob Foreman, Laurie Anderson, James Gillespie, and Linda Jenkins.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Grayson GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays 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 pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Grayson GA.
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