How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Hoschton Georgia
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hoschton GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges 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 kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Hoschton GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Education
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Hoschton GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical 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 courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Hoschton GA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Hoschton GA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Hoschton GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Hoschton GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine 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 obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hoschton GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Hoschton healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Hoschton GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hoschton GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hoschton Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hoschton GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hoschton is located in western Jackson County at 34°05′46″N 83°45′40″W / 34.096164°N 83.761083°W / 34.096164; -83.761083. It is bordered to the north by the city of Braselton. Georgia State Route 53 runs through the center of town, leading northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Oakwood and south 9 miles (14 km) to Winder. Jefferson, the county seat, is 12 miles (19 km) to the east, and Atlanta is 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Hoschton has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.79%, are water. Water bodies in Hoschton drain west and east into tributaries of the Mulberry River, part of the Oconee River watershed.
The Hoschton ZIP code 30548 goes well beyond the city limits, and results in the post office delivering mail into four counties: Jackson, Gwinnett, Hall, and Barrow. Hoschton's ZIP code is used within about 40% of the Braselton town limits.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Hoschton GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking 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 pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs. 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 in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hoschton GA.
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