How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Gainesville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Gainesville GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Gainesville GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Gainesville GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine 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 normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Gainesville GA area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Gainesville GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps 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, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Gainesville GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Gainesville GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive 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 elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Gainesville GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Gainesville medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Gainesville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gainesville GA, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Gainesville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Gainesville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The city of Gainesville is the county seat of Hall County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,804. By 2015 the population had risen to an estimated 38,712. Because of its large number of poultry processing plants, it is often called the "Poultry Capital of the World". Gainesville is the principal city of, and is included in, the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia Combined Statistical Area.
Gainesville was established as "Mule Camp Springs" by European-American settlers in the early 1800s. Less than three years after the organization of Hall County on December 15, 1818, Mule Camp Springs was renamed "Gainesville" on April 21, 1821. It was named in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812 and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. Gainesville was selected to be the county seat and chartered by the Georgia General Assembly on November 30, 1821.
A gold rush that began in nearby Lumpkin County in the 1830s resulted in an increase in the number of settlers and the beginning of a business community. In the middle of the 19th century, Gainesville had two important events. In 1849, it became established as a resort center, with people attracted to the springs. In 1851, much of the small city was destroyed by fire.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Gainesville GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is 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 acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Rn. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure 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 ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Gainesville GA.
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