How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Addison Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Addison ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Addison ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative 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 performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Courses
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Addison ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some 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 usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element involving 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.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working 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 options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Addison ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Addison ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Addison ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Addison ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Addison ME area medical providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Addison medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that first job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Addison ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Addison ME, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Addison Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Addison ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The earliest white settlers in Addison were from Martha's Vineyard. They were looking for richer farmlands, cod, and good meadow grass for their cattle. Some of the earliest permanent settlers of whom we have any knowledge were William Hix, Wilmont Wass, Moses Plummer, Seth Norton, Richard Samuel Coffin, Daniel Look and John Nash,Tilly White of Lancaster, Massachusetts, with most arriving in 1767. Addison was settled about 1779 and was organized as a plantation, known as "Number Six West of Machias". It was then called Pleasant River and also "Englishman's River". It was incorporated as a town on February 14, 1797, and named in honor of the English writer, Joseph Addison. The Bangor Historical Magazine gives the entire number of inhabitants as 213 on April 27, 1778. It has been said that "practically all the residents of Addison are descendants in one way or another of the Vineyard Settlers."
The town itself spreads over a large area and includes many islands, coves and headlands. In the late 19th century and into the 20th century there were manufacturing plants including clam, sardine, blueberry and lobster canneries. None of these are in existence at the present time. Today Addison is mainly a fishing port with lobsters, scallops, clams, periwinkles and mussels as the principal catches.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 100.47 square miles (260.22 km2), of which, 42.44 square miles (109.92 km2) of it is land and 58.03 square miles (150.30 km2) is water.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College Addison ME
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many 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, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Addison ME.
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