How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training Program near Island Falls Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Island Falls ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Island Falls 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 an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose 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 Courses
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Island Falls ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to technical 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 training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Island Falls ME area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Island Falls ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to 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. After those choices 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 colleges that are nearest to Island Falls ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Island Falls ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Island Falls ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Island Falls healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Island Falls 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 a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Island Falls ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Island Falls Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Island Falls ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Island Falls, Maine
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.76 square miles (105.57 km2), of which 36.03 square miles (93.32 km2) is land and 4.73 square miles (12.25 km2) is water. Island Falls also has two main lakes, Pleasant and Mattawamkeag.
As of the census of 2010, there were 837 people, 357 households, and 228 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.2 inhabitants per square mile (9.0/km2). There were 655 housing units at an average density of 18.2 per square mile (7.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White, 0.4% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 357 households of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.1% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.88.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Island Falls ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Medical School. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Island Falls ME.
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