Becoming A Medical Assistant Berwick ME

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Berwick Maine

Berwick ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Berwick ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Berwick ME nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Berwick ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities 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 tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

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 Berwick ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed 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 typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Berwick METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good option for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Berwick ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Berwick 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 arguably 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty 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 offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Berwick ME medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, 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 comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Berwick ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must look at when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Berwick ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must 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 naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Berwick ME area health care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Berwick health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Berwick ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Berwick ME, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Berwick Maine?

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

North Berwick, Maine

Originally a part of Kittery called Kittery Commons, the area was first settled in 1693 by John Morrell, a Quaker who built a log cabin on Wells Street. It was set off from Kittery in 1713 as part of Berwick, named for Berwick-upon-Tweed on the Anglo-Scottish border. Doughty Falls in the Great Works River provided water power for a sawmill, gristmill and carding mill. After the Revolutionary War, the small mill town grew rapidly. It was set off and incorporated as North Berwick on March 22, 1831.[2][6] The town was named after Berwick, England.[7]

Development was spurred in 1842 by the arrival of the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth Railroad, joined by the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1873. North Berwick became a railroad hub from which its manufactured goods were shipped, including lumber, shingles, clapboards, wooden boxes, firewood, bricks, carriages, caskets, clocks, stove and shoe polish, toboggans and sleds. Also loaded aboard the boxcars were barrels of apples, blocks of ice cut from frozen ponds, granite from quarries, and tins of corn packed at a canning factory. But the 2 biggest North Berwick businesses during the 19th-century made woolens and farm implements.[8]

In 1834, the Maine Legislature incorporated Lang, Hill & Company to manufacture woolen blankets, called "printing blankets," at a mill beside the Great Works River. Renamed the North Berwick Company, by 1850 its principal owner was "Friend" William Hill, who trained as a machinist at the Great Falls Manufacturing Company in Somersworth, New Hampshire. The wooden mill was destroyed by fire in 1861, but rebuilt in brick in 1862. It produced blankets for Civil War troops. The factory had 40 looms turning out 1,500 yards of flannel daily, in addition to blankets. In 1955, the North Berwick Company would close. Its landmark Greek Revival building was used as the Parrish Shoes factory in the 1995 movie Jumanji, and has since been renovated and adapted as housing.[9]

Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course Berwick ME

Berwick ME medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Becoming A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Berwick ME.

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