How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Blue Hill Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Blue Hill ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Blue Hill ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care 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 facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Blue Hill ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Blue Hill ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Blue Hill ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine 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 decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Blue Hill ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Blue Hill ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Blue Hill ME area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Blue Hill medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Blue Hill 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 an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Blue Hill ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Blue Hill Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Blue Hill ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Blue Hill, Maine
Blue Hill is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,686 at the 2010 census. It is home to the Blue Hill Public Library, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, George Stevens Academy, the Blue Hill Harbor School, New Surry Theatre, Kneisel Hall, Bagaduce Music Lending Library, the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club, the Marine & Environmental Research Institute, and the Blue Hill Country Club. A community on Blue Hill Bay, the town is the site of the annual Blue Hill Fair.
It was one of six townships granted by the Massachusetts General Court to David Marsh and 351 others for their service in the French and Indian War. Called Plantation Number 5, it was first settled in 1762 by Captain Joseph Wood and John Roundy from Andover, Massachusetts, who built homes on Mill Island at the tidal falls. It would then be called Newport Plantation. On January 30, 1789, the town was incorporated as Blue Hill, named after its commanding summit overlooking the region.
The outlets of various ponds provided water power for several sawmills and gristmills. By 1859, 5,000 cords of firewood were sent from the port annually. Other products included lumber, masts and roof shingles, but the predominant industry was shipbuilding. Beginning in 1792, 133 vessels were constructed at Blue Hill, some of them brigs and ships, but most schooners. The town was also noted for the quality of its granite, some of which was used to build the Brooklyn Bridge, New York Stock Exchange building, and the U.S. Custom House at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1876, local quarries employed 300 workers.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Blue Hill ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Be A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Blue Hill ME.
More Medical Locations in Maine