Medical Assistant Degree Programs Norcross GA

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Norcross Georgia

Norcross GA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Norcross GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included some 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Role of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Norcross GA nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their role is to make sure that the Norcross GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available 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

In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Norcross GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Norcross GAThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Norcross GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Norcross GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Norcross GA medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Norcross GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, 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 good reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Norcross GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’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 college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Norcross GA area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Norcross healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Norcross GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Norcross GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Norcross Georgia?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Norcross GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Norcross, Georgia

Norcross is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 9,116,[4] while in 2015 the estimated population was 16,634.[5] It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville combined statistical area.

The city sits along the Eastern Continental Divide. Streams to the west of the city center travel to the Chattahoochee River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, while streams to the east flow to the Yellow River, a tributary of the Ocmulgee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean north of Brunswick. This divide, or ridge, played a significant role in the early settlement of the area. Originally, the Creek and Cherokee people occupied this land, and the ridgeline was used as a major transportation route. Two American forts were established in the early 19th century due to the War of 1812: Fort Daniel (at Hog Mountain) and Peachtree Fort (in Atlanta). These two forts were connected by this old Indian trail which became known as the original Peachtree Road. By around 1840, this trail had evolved into a stagecoach route connecting South Carolina and Alabama through Georgia. The surrounding area became populated, and the small communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill prospered.

This all changed with the creation of the Richmond-Danville Railroad, designed to open up the wilderness areas of northeast Georgia. The railroad was proposed in 1856 by Jonathan Norcross (a former Atlanta mayor) and was subsequently approved. Construction was delayed, however, until 1866 because of the Civil War. On September 12, 1869, the first 20 miles (32 km) were completed. On October 16, 1889, John J. Thrasher bought the 250 acres (1.0 km2) surrounding the terminal for $1,650, and a town was born – named for Thrasher's good friend, Jonathan Norcross. The Brunswick Hotel was built in 1870, and Norcross quickly became known as a resort area, much like East Lake, for Atlantans wanting to escape the rapidly growing city. The new town also meant the demise of the surrounding communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill, as people migrated in to build houses, churches, schools, and to be near the railroad.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant School Norcross GA

Norcross GA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Programs. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Norcross GA.

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    Atlanta Foot Care Group
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