Colleges That Offer Medical Assistant Degrees Pine Lake GA

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Pine Lake Georgia

Pine Lake GA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pine Lake GA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on 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 colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Pine Lake GA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Pine Lake GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Pine Lake GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 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 a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed 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 available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Pine Lake GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Pine Lake GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Pine Lake GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Pine Lake GA medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Pine Lake GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training 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 Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Pine Lake GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Pine Lake GA area medical care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Pine Lake healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Finding that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Pine Lake GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during 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 attend a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Pine Lake GA, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Pine Lake Georgia?

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

Pine Lake, Georgia

Pine Lake was established as a city in December 1937, after a short life as a summer retreat run by the Pine Woods Corporation. The corporation sold lots around a small fishing lake to Atlantans who lived in (then) faraway areas like Buckhead for use as a weekend retreat. The 20' x 100' lots sold for $69, and the advertisement for lots directed people "from Decatur down the [unpaved] Rockbridge Road East." Many homeowners continued to use their property as a weekend getaway long after the city incorporated. Prior to development, Pine Lake was a portion of a farm. The lake was formerly a widened region of Snapfinger Creek, and the valley that encompasses much of the town was where corn was grown. The lake was dammed by the Army Corp of Engineers as erosion and flood control, prior to the official FDR lake projects.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 621 people, 321 households, and 139 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,293.0 people per square mile (1,261.9/km²). There were 349 housing units at an average density of 1,850.7 per square mile (709.2/km²). The population data was challenged in 2002 and the Census agreed that the housing units were under surveyed. The insufficient survey was due to the lack of postal delivery in the city (as with cities with fewer than 750 individual units). The Tax digest listed 690 houses. Since no official survey was done on all households, the Census did not change the population. The racial makeup of the city was 74.72% White, 17.55% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 3.54% from other races, and 3.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.76% of the population.

There were 321 households out of which 18.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.5% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.4% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.58.

Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Pine Lake GA

Pine Lake GA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Colleges That Offer Medical Assistant Degrees. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Pine Lake GA.

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