How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Brooksville Maine
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Brooksville ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Brooksville ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Courses
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Brooksville ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as 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 typically be carried out in Brooksville ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Brooksville ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify 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. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Brooksville ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Brooksville ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering 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 concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma 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 decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Brooksville ME area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Brooksville medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Brooksville ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention 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 instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brooksville ME, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Brooksville Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Brooksville ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Brooksville is a town on Penobscot Bay in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 934. It contains the villages of North Brooksville, South Brooksville (on Buck's Harbor), West Brooksville, Brooksville Corner, and Harborside (on Cape Rosier).
It was first settled by John Wasson, Samuel Wasson and David Hawes, soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Incorporated on June 13, 1817, the town was formed from parts of Castine, Penobscot and Sedgwick. It was named Brooksville after Governor John Brooks of Massachusetts, which then governed Maine.
The surface of the town abounds with granite, and several quarries were established. The soil is a clay loam, which yielded wheat and potatoes. Buck's Harbor, safe and deep, is one of the best coves in the region for small boats, and many residents became involved in the coasting trade and fisheries. By 1880, when the population was 1,419, Brooksville had a porgy oil factory, two sawmills, a shingle mill, a planing mill, two gristmills, a wool carding mill, and a cloth and yarn factory. Shipping was an industry, with ship repairs done at the foot of Wasson's Wharf Road with a pier to the channel in the Bagaduce. There was a brickyard, blacksmith's shop, rope walk and small store for provisions. As late as 1912, there were 18 schooners at the wharf under repair. A small packet, the Goldenrod, ferried passengers from Brooksville to Castine and there was a pier to the south where the Belfast boat berthed. The Wasson and Tapley families, related by marriage, had numerous ship's captains, the most notable being the six Tapley sons of Captain Robert Tapley, who all followed the sea after their father.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant School Brooksville ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice 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 offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 Medical Assistant Career. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Brooksville ME.
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