Best School For Medical Assistant Woodstock GA

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Woodstock Georgia

Woodstock GA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Woodstock GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask all 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 type of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Woodstock GA nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Woodstock GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Education

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Woodstock GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare 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 together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Woodstock GAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Woodstock GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Woodstock GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Woodstock GA medical assistant programsPrior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Woodstock GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to 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 confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Woodstock GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Woodstock GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Woodstock medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that initial job can 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 researching provide job placement assistance in the Woodstock GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller 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 possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodstock GA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may 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 issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Woodstock Georgia?

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

Woodstock, Georgia

Woodstock is a city in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 23,896 at the 2010 census.[1] Originally a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Woodstock is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007 it was the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the United States.[5]

Woodstock is located in southern Cherokee County at 34°6′5″N 84°31′10″W / 34.10139°N 84.51944°W / 34.10139; -84.51944 (34.100731, -84.518972).[6]Interstate 575 passes through the western side of the city, with access from exits 7, 8, and 9. Downtown Atlanta is 30 miles (48 km) to the south, and Canton, the Cherokee County seat, is 11 miles (18 km) north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Woodstock has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.92%, is water.[7]

Select the Right Medical Assistant School Woodstock GA

Woodstock GA medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Best School For Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Woodstock GA.

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