How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Acton Maine
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Acton ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Acton ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based 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 health practitioners but may 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
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Acton ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as 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 practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Acton ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Acton ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Acton ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Acton ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Acton ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Acton medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Acton ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may 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 furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment 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 on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Acton ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Acton Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Acton ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Acton is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,447 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of Acton, Miller Corner and South Acton. The town is home to the Acton Fairground, which holds the Acton Fair every late summer. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.
It was part of the extensive Ossipee Tract sold on November 28, 1668, by Newichawannock Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery. Small sold a half interest in the tract to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot. In 1770, heirs found the unrecorded deed and divided the land, with Shapleigh's descendants awarded one half of Limerick and all of Parsonsfield and Shapleigh. First called Hubbardstown Plantation, Shapleigh was in 1785 incorporated and named in honor of Nicholas Shapleigh. Its western portion was set off and incorporated on March 6, 1830, as Acton, named after Acton, England.
The town was first settled at Acton village in 1776 by Benjamin Kimens, Clement Steele and John York, all from York. In 1779, Joseph Parsons built a gristmill on the Salmon Falls River near Wakefield, New Hampshire. Other mills followed at Acton's various water power sites, including sawmills, gristmills, a hemp mill, a carding mill, a felt mill, a tannery and a shoe factory. In 1877, a vein of silver was discovered near Goding Creek and the Lebanon border. Prospectors dug mines during the 1880s, after which the enterprise declined.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Program Acton ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Description. But regardless of the type 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Acton ME.
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