Best Colleges For Medical Assistant Gardiner ME

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Gardiner Maine

Gardiner ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Gardiner ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Gardiner ME nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Gardiner ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size 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 physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training

In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Gardiner ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Gardiner METhere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Gardiner ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Gardiner ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Gardiner ME medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, 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 covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Gardiner ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Gardiner ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? 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 learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in 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 just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Gardiner ME area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Gardiner health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Gardiner ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gardiner 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 all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Gardiner Maine?

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

Gardiner, Maine

Gardiner is a city in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 5,800 at the 2010 census. Popular with tourists, Gardiner is noted for its culture and old architecture. Gardiner is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.

Located at the head of navigation on the Kennebec River, Gardiner was founded as Gardinerstown Plantation in 1754 by Dr. Silvester Gardiner, a prominent Boston physician. Dr. Gardiner had made a fortune as a drug merchant, with one apothecary shop in Massachusetts and two in Connecticut, and became a principal proprietor of the Kennebec Purchase within the old Plymouth Patent. He proved a tireless promoter for his development, which once comprised over 100,000 acres (400 km2).[4]

Dr. Gardiner induced a gristmill builder, saw millwright, house carpenter and wheelwright to settle here. Houses, mills, a church and a blockhouse were built. Situated at the confluence of the Kennebec River and Cobbesseecontee Stream, which has falls that drop 130 feet, the location was recognized by him as ideal for water-powered mills. Gardinerstown, set off from Pittston in 1760, became center of the regional economy.[4]

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Gardiner ME

Gardiner ME medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Best Colleges For Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Gardiner ME.

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