How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Hampden Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hampden ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Hampden ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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 Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Hampden ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Hampden ME area medical care 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 right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Hampden ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Hampden ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you choose is accredited. To start 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 need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Hampden ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design 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 looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hampden ME area medical care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Hampden medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Hampden ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hampden ME, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, 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 Hampden Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hampden ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Hampden is a town on the Penobscot River estuary in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 7,257 at the 2010 census. Hampden is part of the Bangor metropolitan statistical area.
During the War of 1812, on September 3, 1814, about 400 local militia under the command of Brigadier General John Blake of nearby Brewer attempted to hold off a superior force of British regulars at Hampden. The American line, however, collapsed before a charge and was quickly routed. The Americans suffered one casualty with eleven wounded, and the British lost two (one an officer). A civilian spectator was also killed. The British fleet, which under command of Sir John Coape Sherbrooke (then lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia) had recently captured Castine, looted Hampden and nearby Bangor. They were trying to capture the USS Adams, a frigate with 750 men which had fled up the Penobscot River and anchored at Hampden. The crew of Adams, under Captain Charles Morris, burned the ship to prevent her capture and subsequently escaped overland.
General Blake and two other officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Grant of Hampden and Major Joshua Chamberlain of Brewer (grandfather of Civil War general Joshua L. Chamberlain), were court-martialed in Bangor in 1816 for their part in the defeat. Blake and Chamberlain were both exonerated, but Grant was cashiered.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant School Hampden ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you select 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 3 Month Medical Assistant Program. 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hampden ME.
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