How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program in Braselton Georgia
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Braselton GA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick 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 lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Braselton GA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While Braselton GA medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Braselton GA employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed 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 junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Braselton GA employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in area Georgia health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Braselton GA is furnished.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Braselton GA or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing colleges. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing Georgia programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Braselton GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited Braselton GA area medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing 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 targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 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 take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the Braselton GA area colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous Georgia medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with local healthcare providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Braselton GA health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that initial job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers in the Braselton GA area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school in the Braselton GA area to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Braselton GA, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Course in Braselton GA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing 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 sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Braselton GA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask prospects is "What made you choose medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a CMA, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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