How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Loganville Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Loganville GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Loganville GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular 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
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Loganville GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good 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 option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Loganville GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Loganville GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Loganville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Loganville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Loganville GA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Loganville medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Loganville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might 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 prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Loganville GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Loganville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Loganville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Loganville is a city in Walton and Gwinnett counties, Georgia, United States. The population was 10,458 at the 2010 census, up from 5,435 in 2000. It is 5 miles from Monroe, Ga. The county seat of Walton County.
Loganville is in western Walton County, with the city limits extending west into southeastern Gwinnett County. U.S. Route 78 (Atlanta Highway) passes through the center of town, leading east 5 miles (8.0 km) to Monroe, the Walton County seat, and west 32 miles (51 km) to downtown Atlanta. Georgia State Route 20 leads northwest from Loganville 10 miles (16 km) to Lawrenceville, the Gwinnett County seat, and southwest 15 miles (24 km) to Conyers. Georgia State Route 81 leads northeast 16 miles (26 km) to Winder and south 18 miles (29 km) to Covington.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Loganville has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19.1 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (19.0 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.60%, is water.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant College Loganville GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health 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 selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Accreditation. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Loganville GA.
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