How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Scottdale Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Scottdale GA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Scottdale GA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Georgia law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Scottdale GA health care employers prefer 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 fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good option for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Scottdale GA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Scottdale GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Scottdale GA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Scottdale 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 design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Scottdale GA area medical care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Scottdale health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Scottdale GA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottdale GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Scottdale Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Scottdale GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Scottdale, aka SCD is located at 33°47′40″N 84°15′44″W / 33.79444°N 84.26222°W / 33.79444; -84.26222 (33.794337, -84.262110). The unincorporated community is centered on East Ponce de Leon Avenue, between Decatur and Clarkston. The northern boundary is Stone Mountain Freeway; the eastern boundary is Interstate 285; the western boundary is roughly DeKalb Industrial Blvd.; and the southern boundary is roughly the city limits of Avondale Estates. The ZIP code for Scottdale is 30079.
According to the 2010 census, there were 10,631 people residing in the CDP. The racial makeup of the CDP was 29.9% White, 37.7% African American, 0.20% Native American, 23.0% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population. 12.7% of the population are Asian Indians. As of the census of 2000, there were 9,803 people, 4,010 households, and 2,201 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,818.2 people per square mile (1,087.6/km²). There were 4,236 housing units at an average density of 1,217.8/sq mi (470.0/km²). The racial makeup of Scottdale was 48.6% Black, 37.1% White, 0.19% Native American, 9.60% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 4,010 households out of which 67.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 69.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.15.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Scottdale GA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective 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 acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Scottdale GA.
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