Certified Medical Assistant Schools Camden ME

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Camden Maine

Camden ME medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Camden ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Camden ME nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Camden ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer to specialize in a particular 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

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Camden ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Camden METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Camden ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Camden ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Camden ME medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind 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 start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Camden ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Camden ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges 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 concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive 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 acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Camden ME area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Camden medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Camden ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare 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 indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? 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 provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Camden ME, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol 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 Camden Maine?

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

Camden, Maine

Camden is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,850 at the 2010 census. The population of the town more than triples during the summer months, due to tourists and summer residents. Camden is a famous summer colony in the Mid-Coast region of Maine. Similar to Bar Harbor, Nantucket and North Haven, Camden is well known for its summer community of wealthy Northeasterners, mostly from Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

Penobscot Abenaki Indians called the area Megunticook, meaning "great swells of the sea", a reference to the silhouette of the Camden Hills (more visibly seen on a bright night). Part of the Waldo Patent, it remained wilderness until after the French and Indian War. It was first settled about 1771–1772 by James Richards, who built a home at the mouth of the Megunticook River. Others soon followed, some making modest attempts to farm the broken and often mountainous terrain. The first home in the area was the Conway House, a Cape Cod style home built in 1770. In 1962, it was purchased and renovated into a history museum.[4]

When Castine was held by the British in 1779, Camden became a rendezvous point and encampment for the Americans, who were commanded by Major George Ulmer. During a raid, the British burned a sawmill. On February 17, 1791, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated Megunticook Plantation as Camden, named after Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, a member of the British Parliament and proponent of civil liberties. During the War of 1812, a battery was built atop Mount Battie near the village. It had both a 12- and 18-pounder gun, but no gunner qualified to operate them. Nevertheless, the fort's appearance of readiness kept the British at bay.[5]

Select the Right Medical Assistant Program Camden ME

Camden ME medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days 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 an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus 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 subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Camden ME.

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