How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Kennesaw Georgia
Once you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kennesaw GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Kennesaw GA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available 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 Programs
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Kennesaw GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Kennesaw 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 might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Kennesaw GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate 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 discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Kennesaw GA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Kennesaw GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring 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 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Kennesaw GA area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Kennesaw healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Kennesaw GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school 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 need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kennesaw GA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kennesaw Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kennesaw GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw has a past surrounded with railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.
As the Western and Atlantic Railroad were being built in the late 1830s, shanties arose to house the workers. These were near a big spring. A grade up from the Etowah River became known as "the big grade to the shanties", then "Big Shanty Grade", and finally "Big Shanty".
During the Civil War, Big Shanty was the site of major fighting in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of the larger Atlanta Campaign. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, located southeast of the city limits, now contains many of these historic areas, though much of the surrounding land has been developed, and some buried artifacts have been taken by people with metal detectors.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Kennesaw GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Trade School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied 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 Kennesaw GA.
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