How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Snellville Georgia
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Snellville GA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes 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 important issues as well. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Snellville GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Snellville GA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for those who may not have the 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 earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Snellville GA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Snellville GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Snellville GA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Snellville 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 schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate 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 acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Snellville GA area medical care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Snellville medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Snellville GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Snellville GA, make certain 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 any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Snellville Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Snellville GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Snellville is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States, east of Atlanta. The population was 18,242 at the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 19,733. It is a developed suburb of Atlanta and a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
In 1874 Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, seventeen-year-old friends from London, secretly planned a voyage to the New World. On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles, left England. However, Snell's parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn't allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure. The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1, and after a few weeks headed toward Athens, Georgia, and then to Madison County, where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month. Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them. The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville. Shortly after Snell's arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the South and settling in Alabama, where he went into the turpentine business. James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878, when he returned to England to claim his inheritance. Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia, and then Gwinnett County. Once in Gwinnett County, Sawyer found Snell in the small settlement then known as New London, near Stone Mountain. In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer's Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London. As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell's likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods. By the end of 1879, the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville. Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer's" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day's travel. It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners' store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising, and the young town began to show a promising future.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant College Snellville GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools 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, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 Pediatric Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Snellville GA.
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