How Long Is Medical Assistant Training Bangor ME

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Bangor Maine

Bangor ME medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bangor ME, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of potential students begin by researching 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 factors as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all 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 offered.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Bangor ME nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Bangor ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Training Courses

Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Bangor ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, 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 normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education 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 applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Bangor METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Bangor ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best option 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 mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Bangor ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Bangor ME medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Bangor ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Bangor ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Bangor ME area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Bangor medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Bangor ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bangor ME, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, 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 Bangor Maine?

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

Bangor, Maine

Bangor (/ˈbæŋɡɔːr/ BANG-gor) is a city in the U.S. state of Maine, and the county seat of Penobscot County. The city proper has a population of 33,039, while the Bangor metropolitan area has a population of 153,746.

Modern Bangor was established in the mid-1800s with the lumber and shipbuilding industries. Lying on the Penobscot River, logs could be floated downstream from the Maine North Woods and processed at the city's water-powered sawmills, then shipped from Bangor's port to the Atlantic Ocean 30 miles downstream, and from there to any port in the world. Evidence of this is still visible in the lumber barons' elaborate Greek Revival and Victorian mansions and the 31 foot high statue of Paul Bunyan. Today, Bangor's economy is based on services and retail, healthcare, and education.

Bangor has a port of entry at Bangor International Airport, also home to the Bangor Air National Guard Base. Historically Bangor was an important stopover on the great circle route air route between the U.S. East Coast and Europe.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Bangor ME

Bangor ME medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Is Medical Assistant Training. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Bangor ME.

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