How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Lilburn Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lilburn GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask each 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Lilburn GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential responsibilities 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 fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Lilburn GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Lilburn GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve 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 an excellent idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Lilburn GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from 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, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Lilburn GA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive 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 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Lilburn GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, 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 of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out 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 school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? 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, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Lilburn GA area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Lilburn medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Lilburn GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, 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 positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lilburn GA, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lilburn Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lilburn GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lilburn is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population was 11,596 at the 2010 census. The estimated population was 12,655 in 2015. It is a developed suburb of Atlanta and a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Lilburn is located in western Gwinnett County at 33°53′20″N 84°8′27″W / 33.88889°N 84.14083°W / 33.88889; -84.14083 (33.888853, -84.140897).U.S. Route 29 (Lawrenceville Highway) passes through the center of town, leading southwest 19 miles (31 km) to downtown Atlanta and northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Lawrenceville, the Gwinnett County seat.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Lilburn has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.5 km2), of which 6.3 square miles (16.4 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.82%, is water.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College Lilburn GA
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Needed. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Lilburn GA.
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