Medical Assistant Classes Near Me Athens ME

How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Athens Maine

Athens ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Athens ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Athens ME nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Athens ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical 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 in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose 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

In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Athens ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 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 typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical 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 often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Athens METhere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Athens ME area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online courses 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 choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Athens ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of 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). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Athens ME medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Athens ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Athens ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Athens ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Athens health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Athens ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication 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 increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Athens ME, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Athens Maine?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Athens ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Athens, Maine

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,019 people, 391 households, and 270 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.4 inhabitants per square mile (9.0/km2). There were 577 housing units at an average density of 13.2 per square mile (5.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White, 0.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 391 households of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 8.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.9% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the town was 40.4 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 29.9% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School Athens ME

Athens ME medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. 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 especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Athens ME.

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