How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Dresden Maine
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Dresden ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Dresden ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities 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 rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Education
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Dresden ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade 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 often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Dresden ME area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes 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, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Dresden 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 possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, 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, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Dresden ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, 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 accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Dresden ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Dresden ME area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Dresden medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Dresden ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dresden ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Dresden Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Dresden ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The bombing of Dresden was a British/American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II in the European Theatre. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the city centre. An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed, although larger casualty figures have been claimed. Three more USAAF air raids followed, two occurring on 2 March aimed at the city's railway marshalling yard and one smaller raid on 17 April aimed at industrial areas.
Immediate German propaganda claims following the attacks and post-war discussions on whether the attacks were justified have led to the bombing becoming one of the moral causes célèbres of the war. A 1953 United States Air Force report defended the operation as the justified bombing of a strategic target, which they noted was a major rail transport and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the German war effort. Several researchers claim not all of the communications infrastructure, such as the bridges, were targeted, nor were the extensive industrial areas outside the city centre. Critics of the bombing have claimed that Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no strategic significance, and that the attacks were indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate to the military gains. Some in the German far-right refer to the bombing as a mass murder calling it "Dresden's Holocaust of bombs". According to other critics, given the high number of civilian casualties and the relatively few strategic targets, Dresden's destruction was unjustifiable and should be called a war crime. They claim the city could have been spared, like Rome, Paris, and Kyoto, though the British and the American militaries defended the bombing as necessary.
Large variations in the claimed death toll have fuelled the controversy. In March 1945, the German government ordered its press to publish a falsified casualty figure of 200,000 for the Dresden raids, and death toll estimates as high as 500,000 have been given. The city authorities at the time estimated up to 25,000 victims, a figure that subsequent investigations supported, including a 2010 study commissioned by the city council.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Dresden ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Registration. 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 so you can 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 Dresden ME.
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