How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Cumberland Center Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cumberland Center ME, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by checking out 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 factors also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Cumberland Center ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers 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 practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out 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 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 Courses
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Cumberland Center ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 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 as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to go to 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 certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Cumberland Center ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Cumberland Center ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Cumberland Center ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Cumberland Center ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out 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 of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Cumberland Center ME area medical providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Cumberland Center healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Cumberland Center ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cumberland Center ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cumberland Center Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cumberland Center ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cumberland Center, Maine
Cumberland Center is a census-designated place (CDP) within the town of Cumberland in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,499 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland – South Portland – Biddeford, Maine, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 891 households, and 744 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 612.2 people per square mile (236.4/km²). There were 904 housing units at an average density of 213.2/sq mi (82.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 99.00% White, 0.15% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.
There were 891 households out of which 49.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.1% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.4% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.22.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant College Cumberland Center ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of 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, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Trade School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Cumberland Center ME.
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