How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Lula Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lula GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Lula GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Lula GA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice 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 to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Lula GA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Lula GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably 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 examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lula GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Lula GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Lula GA area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Lula healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Lula GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lula GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lula Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lula GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lula is a city in Hall and Banks counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. Most of the city is in Hall County, with a small eastern portion of the city located in Banks County. The population was 2,758 at the 2010 census. The Hall County portion of Lula is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lula is the home of RailRoad Days, a yearly festival held usually every May. Major roads near Lula are Georgia Highway 51, Georgia Highway 52, Georgia Highway 365, U.S. Route 23, and old US 23. Lula is the railroad junction between the Atlanta northeast line and the Athens north line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,438 people, 531 households, and 399 families residing in the city. The population density was 520.1 people per square mile (201.2/km²). There were 585 housing units at an average density of 211.6 per square mile (81.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.71% White, 8.14% African American, 0.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.25% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.23% of the population.
There were 531 households out of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.13.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College Lula GA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain 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 exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Duties. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Lula GA.
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