How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Bowdoinham Maine
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bowdoinham ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must 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 several questions that you should ask all of the colleges 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 offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is ensure that the Bowdoinham ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Bowdoinham ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on 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 obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component 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.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Bowdoinham ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Bowdoinham ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 be graduating within 30 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.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Bowdoinham ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified 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 finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Bowdoinham ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Bowdoinham ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Bowdoinham medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Bowdoinham ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program 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 essential that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bowdoinham ME, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bowdoinham Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bowdoinham ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bowdoinham is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,889 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The town is located on the west side of Merrymeeting Bay.
Fort Richmond was built upriver in 1719, protecting the area and encouraging British settlement. About 1720, the mouth of the Cathance River was first settled by Captain Gyles Watkins. But during Dummer's War, in the summer of 1723 all buildings in the region were burned and cattle killed by the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from New France. The Kennebec River region was abandoned. When Gov. William Dummer's Treaty of 1725 brought peace, it was resettled about 1730 by Abraham and Jonas Preble from York.
Litigation from two conflicting claims, however, slowed the town's development. On July 3, 1637, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the lord proprietor of Maine, had granted this part of New Somersetshire to Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe House, situated at Cremyll in Cornwall, England. But the Kennebec Company conveyed it in 1752 to William Bowdoin of Boston, older brother of James Bowdoin. The contested ownership went to court, whereupon Bowdoin won because Edgcumbe's grant was found obsolete and indefinite. On September 18, 1762, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated it as Bowdoinham, named for William Bowdoin. It originally included Richmond, set off in 1823, and portions of Topsham and the Plantation of West Bowdoinham, set off in 1788 as Bowdoin.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Bowdoinham ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant Exam. 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Bowdoinham ME.
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Maine is the northernmost state in New England and the largest, accounting for almost half of the region's entire land area. Maine is the only state to border exactly one other American state (New Hampshire). Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in its extreme points and in its geographic center.
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Maine, constituent state of the United States of America. The largest of the six New England states in area, it lies at the northeastern corner of the country. Its total area, including about 2,300 square miles (6,000 square km) of inland water, represents nearly half of the total area of New England.
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