How to Select a Medical Assistant Training in Suwanee Georgia
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant program in Suwanee GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences 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 important issues also. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Suwanee GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although Suwanee GA medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training and Certification
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Suwanee GA employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Suwanee GA employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in area Georgia healthcare facilities. If you can learn 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. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Suwanee GA is provided.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus near Suwanee GA or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when evaluating Georgia programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Suwanee GA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited Suwanee GA area medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the Suwanee GA area schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of Georgia medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Suwanee GA health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts in the Suwanee GA area to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a school in the Suwanee GA area to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Suwanee GA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College in Suwanee GA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health 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 colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the kind 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Suwanee GA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What compelled you to pick medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a CMA, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to medical assisting, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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