How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Eagle Lake Maine
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Eagle Lake ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Eagle Lake ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer 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 Courses
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Eagle Lake ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred 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 also. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Eagle Lake ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best 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, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Eagle Lake ME medical employers simply will not hire 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) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Eagle Lake ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Eagle Lake ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Eagle Lake ME area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Eagle Lake health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? 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 researching provide job placement assistance in the Eagle Lake ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Eagle Lake ME, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also 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 may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Eagle Lake Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Eagle Lake ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Eagle Lake, Maine
Eagle Lake is a town in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. The population was 864 at the 2010 census. The town was named by a body of troops heading from Bangor to the Aroostook War for the many eagles that they saw around the lake. 49.0% of the population speaks French, reflecting a trend in Northeastern Maine.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.48 square miles (102.25 km2), of which 37.36 square miles (96.76 km2) is land and 2.12 square miles (5.49 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 864 people, 378 households, and 221 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.1 inhabitants per square mile (8.9/km2). There were 667 housing units at an average density of 17.9 per square mile (6.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.2% White, 1.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant School Eagle Lake ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Needed. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Eagle Lake ME.
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