How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Jonesport Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Jonesport ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all 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 kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Jonesport ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options available 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 Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Jonesport ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Jonesport ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Jonesport ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Jonesport ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Jonesport ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose 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 closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Jonesport ME area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Jonesport health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Jonesport ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good 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 indication 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 convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jonesport ME, confirm 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, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Jonesport Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Jonesport ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Settled before the American Revolution, Jonesport was part of a grant of 48,160 acres (194.9 km2) made by the Massachusetts General Court in 1789 to John C. Jones and others. It was incorporated on March 4, 1809, as Jonesborough. On February 3, 1832, a portion of Jonesborough was set off and incorporated as Jones' Port. Then a portion of Jonesport was set off and incorporated on April 7, 1925, as the island town of Beals, accessible by bridge, built in 1958, across the Moosabec Reach.
Located on a peninsula 6 miles (9.7 km) out in the Gulf of Maine, the town's principal industries are fishing, boat building, harvesting blueberries, and tourist services. Jonesport includes many uninhabited islands which provide nesting areas for eider, cormorants, seagulls, razorbills, guillemots, loons, black scoters, grebes and eagles. There are two nature preserves: Western Brothers Island and the Great Wass Archipelago (which includes Great Wass Island), the latter shared with the town of Beals.
In 1866, a group of Christian restorationists sailed from Jonesport to Ottoman-occupied Palestine in the hope of preparing the land for the Jews to return, thereby hastening the coming of the Christian Messiah. The Maine Friendship House, a small, wooden clapboard New England-style house built by one of those families, still stands in modern Tel Aviv.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Jonesport ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Is A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Jonesport ME.
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