How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Hinckley Maine
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hinckley ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Hinckley ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Hinckley ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on 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 obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically 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 prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Hinckley ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Hinckley ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at 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, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Hinckley ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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. Also, 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, many prospective Hinckley ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Hinckley ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Hinckley health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Hinckley ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small 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 convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hinckley ME, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hinckley Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hinckley ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
John Hinckley Jr.
John Warnock Hinckley Jr. (born May 29, 1955) is an American man who, on March 30, 1981, attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C. He wounded Reagan with a bullet that ricocheted and hit him in the chest. He also wounded police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, and critically wounded Press Secretary James Brady, who died from complications of his injuries 33 years later.
Reported to have been driven by an obsessive fixation on Jodie Foster, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and remained under institutional psychiatric care until September 2016. Public outcry over the verdict led to the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984, which altered the rules for consideration of mental illness of defendants in Federal Criminal Court proceedings in the United States. He was released from institutional psychiatric care on September 10, 2016, and lives with his mother.
John Warnock Hinckley Jr. was born on May 29, 1955, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and moved with his wealthy family to Dallas, Texas, at the age of 4. His late father was John Warnock Hinckley Sr., president of World Vision United States, and chairman and president of the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation. His mother is Jo Ann Hinckley (née Moore). He has two older siblings: sister Diane and brother Scott. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Scott Hinckley became vice president of his father's oil business. Their sister, Diane, graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant School Hinckley ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Hinckley ME.
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