How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Bar Harbor Maine
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bar Harbor ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” 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 available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Bar Harbor ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect 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 Courses
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Bar Harbor 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 essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, 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 obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option 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 option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Bar Harbor ME area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Bar Harbor ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bar Harbor ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. To begin 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 must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Bar Harbor ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just 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 routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn 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, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Bar Harbor ME area healthcare providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Bar Harbor health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Bar Harbor ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school 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 to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bar Harbor ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bar Harbor Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bar Harbor ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population is 5,235. Bar Harbor is a popular tourist destination in the Down East region of Maine and home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory, and MDI Biological Laboratory (Salisbury Cove village). Prior to a catastrophic 1947 fire, the town was a noted summer colony for the wealthy. Bar Harbor is home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point within twenty-five miles (40 km) of the coastline of the Eastern United States. The town is served by the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which has flights to Boston, Massachusetts, as well as seasonal flights to Newark, New Jersey, and Portland, Maine.
The town of Bar Harbor was founded on the northeast shore of Mount Desert Island, which the Wabanaki Indians knew as Pemetic, meaning "range of mountains" or "mountains seen at a distance." The Wabanaki seasonally fished, hunted and gathered berries, clams, and other shellfish in the area. They spoke of Bar Harbor as Man-es-ayd'ik ("clam-gathering place") or Ah-bays'auk ("clambake place"), leaving great piles of shells as evidence of this abundance. In early September 1604, French explorer Samuel de Champlain ran aground on a rock ledge believed to be just off Otter Cliffs, and when he came ashore to repair his boat he met local natives. Champlain named the island Isles des Monts Deserts, meaning "island of barren mountains"—now called Mount Desert Island, the largest in Maine.
The community was first settled by Europeans in 1763 by Israel Higgins and John Thomas and incorporated on February 23, 1796 as Eden, after Sir Richard Eden, an English statesman. Early industries included fishing, lumbering and shipbuilding. With the best soil on Mount Desert Island, it also developed agriculture. In the 1840s, its rugged maritime scenery attracted the Hudson River School and Luminism artists Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, William Hart and Fitz Henry Lane. Inspired by their paintings, journalists, sportsmen and "rusticators" followed. Agamont House, the first hotel in Eden, was established in 1855 by Tobias Roberts. Birch Point, the first summer estate, was built in 1868 by Alpheus Hardy.
Select the Right Medical Assistant College Bar Harbor ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective 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 selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Bar Harbor ME.
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