How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Dawsonville Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dawsonville GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Dawsonville GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible 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 instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Dawsonville 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 basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Dawsonville GA area medical 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 may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs 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. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Dawsonville GA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Dawsonville GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you choose 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 plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Dawsonville GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want 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 receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Dawsonville GA area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Dawsonville medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that initial job may 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 evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Dawsonville GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms 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 Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dawsonville GA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dawsonville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dawsonville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Dawsonville was founded in 1857 as seat of the newly formed Dawson County. It was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1952. The community and the county are named for state senator William Crosby Dawson.
The community is at the junction of State Routes 9, 53, and 136. SR 9 leads northeast 14 miles (23 km) to Dahlonega and south 17 miles (27 km) to Cumming, while SR 53 leads southeast 6 miles (10 km) to U.S. Route 19 and west 24 miles (39 km) to Jasper. SR 136 also leads to Jasper, on a 29-mile (47 km) route that runs further to the north through the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As of the census of 2000, there were 619 people, 234 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.9 people per square mile (123.8/km²). There were 257 housing units at an average density of 133.2 per square mile (51.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.97% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Dawsonville GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 Medical Assistant Description. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Dawsonville GA.
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