How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Roswell Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Roswell GA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Roswell GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations 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 earn certification. Two of the choices offered 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Roswell 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 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route 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 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 normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as trade 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 classes. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. 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 Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Roswell GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Roswell GA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Roswell GA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you choose 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 Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Roswell GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Roswell GA area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Roswell health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Roswell GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Roswell GA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Roswell Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Roswell GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Roswell is a city in north Fulton County, Georgia, United States. In the official 2010 U.S. Census it had a population of 88,346. The 2017 estimated population was 94,786, making Roswell the state's eighth-largest city. A suburb of Atlanta, Roswell has an affluent historic district.
In 1830, while on a trip to northern Georgia, Roswell King passed through the area of what is now Roswell and observed the great potential for building a cotton mill along Vickery Creek. Since the land nearby was also good for plantations, his idea was to put cotton processing near cotton production.
Toward the middle of the 1830s, King returned to build a mill that would soon become the largest in north Georgia – Roswell Mill. He brought with him 36 African slaves from his own coastal plantation, plus another 42 skilled carpenter slaves bought in Savannah to build the mills. The slaves built the mills, infrastructure, houses, mill worker apartments, and supporting buildings for the new town. The Africans brought their unique Geechee culture, language, and religious traditions from the coast to north Georgia.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Roswell GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether 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 must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Near Me. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Roswell GA.
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