How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Kittery Point Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kittery Point ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Kittery Point ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying 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
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Education
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Kittery Point ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical 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
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for students 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 attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Kittery Point ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain 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 idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Kittery Point ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Kittery Point ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Kittery Point ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, 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 instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Kittery Point ME area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Kittery Point healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Kittery Point 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kittery Point ME, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kittery Point Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kittery Point ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kittery Point, Maine
Kittery Point is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Kittery, York County, Maine, United States. First settled in 1623, Kittery Point traces its history to the first seafarers who colonized the shore of what became Massachusetts Bay Colony and later the State of Maine. Located beside the Atlantic Ocean, it is home to Fort McClary State Historic Site, and Fort Foster Park on Gerrish Island,. Cutts Island is home to Seapoint Beach and the Brave Boat Harbor Division of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
First settled as early as 1623, the southern part of Kittery was once called Champernowne's after Sir Francis Champernowne, a prominent merchant adventurer and cousin of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the prime mover behind settlement north of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Nicholas Shapleigh built the first house in the area, and Edward Godfrey established a trading post in 1632. Early professions included fishermen, hunters and trappers. Others harvested the region's abundant timber, which was shipped to England or the West Indies. The town of Kittery was incorporated in 1652 when Maine became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Pepperrells were a distinguished Kittery Point family who established fisheries to supply the London market. William Pepperrell Sr. had arrived from Devonshire as a lowly fisherman's apprentice at the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire. He went on to build a mercantile empire, which his son Sir William Pepperrell inherited and expanded. Sir William became the first baronet in New England for commanding a militia which defeated the French in 1745 at the Siege of Louisbourg. His gambrel mansion of 1733 remains a landmark at Pepperrell Cove on the Piscataqua River. In 1760, his widow built the Lady Pepperrell House, a noted Georgian building formerly owned by Historic New England.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant College Kittery Point ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Kittery Point ME.
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