How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Bernard Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bernard ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest 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 issues as well. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is ensure that the Bernard ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Bernard ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few 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 option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Bernard ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Bernard ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at 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, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bernard ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the school 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 must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Bernard ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask 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 college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however 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 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Bernard ME area medical care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Bernard health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Bernard ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
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 program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bernard ME, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bernard Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bernard ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wait for Me, Daddy
Wait for Me, Daddy is a photo taken by Claude P. Dettloff on October 1, 1940, of The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles) marching down Eighth Street at the Columbia Street intersection, New Westminster, Canada. While Dettloff was taking the photo, Warren "Whitey" Bernard ran away from his mother to his father, Private Jack Bernard. The picture received extensive exposure and was used in war-bond drives.
On Saturday August 26, 1939, Hitler was threatening Poland and demanding Danzig. At 4:15 13 seconds that morning the Regimental Adjutant in British Columbia, Canada received a call from the Canadian capital instructing him to call out the British Columbia Regiment. Soldiers fanned out in the city to guard vulnerable points. On September 10, 1939, the Parliament of Canada declared war against the German Reich, which had invaded Poland on the first of the month. While other units were sent to the United Kingdom, the British Columbia Regiment was left behind on the west coast. After months of drills and guard duty the regiment was ordered out and on October 1, 1940, marched to New Westminster to catch a waiting ship, the SS Princess Joan, to their secret destination.
Coming down Eighth Street in New Westminster, Canadian photographer Claude P. Dettloff of The Province newspaper positioned himself to photograph the whole column marching down the hill. As he was getting ready to take the picture, he saw a young boy run out onto the road; Wait for Me, Daddy captures the image of the boy, five-year-old Warren "Whitey" Bernard, running out of his mother's grasp to his father. The picture Dettloff captured was picked up all over the world, getting exposure in Life; it hung in every school in British Columbia during the war.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant College Bernard ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure 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 start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Bernard ME.
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