How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Dacula Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dacula GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is ensure that the Dacula GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Dacula GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Dacula GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Dacula GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Dacula GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Dacula GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine 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 naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Dacula GA area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Dacula medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Dacula GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication 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 increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dacula GA, make sure 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 clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dacula Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dacula GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Dacula (dah-cuo-luh) is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 4,442, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population to be 5,330 as of 2015.
The vicinity of Dacula was one of the first areas in present-day metropolitan Atlanta to be settled by whites (around the time of the War of 1812), but the area remained mostly undeveloped until the late 20th century. The Dacula area is home to some of the oldest buildings in greater Atlanta, such as the Elisha Winn House, which originally acted as the courthouse for Gwinnett County. Dacula itself began in the late 1800s near the community of Chinquapin Grove, where Dacula Elementary now stands. The town was originally named "Hoke", after a Seaboard Air Line Railroad executive, but that name was changed due to the Post Office Department's protest.. Dacula's name was formed from letters in Decatur and Atlanta, two cities to the west that were already prospering at the time of Dacula's founding. The city was once home to a train station on a CSX line through northeast Georgia, although the station closed in the mid-1950s.
Dacula is located in eastern Gwinnett County, with U.S. Route 29 Business/Georgia State Route 8 (Winder Highway) the main road through the center of town. Business 29/SR 8 leads west 6 miles (10 km) to Lawrenceville, the county seat, and east 11 miles (18 km) to Winder. U.S. Route 29 (University Parkway) is a four-lane highway that bypasses Dacula to the south, with access from Harbins Road. University Parkway leads east 34 miles (55 km) to Athens and west 12 miles (19 km) to Interstate 85, which leads an additional 25 miles (40 km) southwest to downtown Atlanta.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Dacula GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the right 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 life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many 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, make sure that the program you select 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 Online Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Dacula GA.
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