How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Liberty Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Liberty ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about 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 assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Liberty ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt 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 Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Liberty 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 essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few 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 acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in Liberty ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Liberty ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Liberty ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 potential Liberty ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Liberty ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Liberty healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Liberty ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual 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 face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere 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 working full time, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Liberty ME, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Liberty Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Liberty ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Give me liberty, or give me death!
He is credited with having swung the balance in convincing the convention to pass a resolution delivering Virginian troops for the Revolutionary War. Among the delegates to the convention were future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
The speech was not published until The Port Folio printed a version of it in 1816. The version of the speech that is known today first appeared in print in Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, a biography of Henry by William Wirt in 1817. There is debate among historians as to whether and to what extent Henry or Wirt should be credited with authorship of the speech and its famous closing words.
Whatever the exact words of Henry were, there can be no doubt of their impact. According to Edmund Randolph, the convention sat in silence for several minutes afterwards. Thomas Marshall told his son John Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States, that the speech was "one of the most bold, vehement, and animated pieces of eloquence that had ever been delivered."Edward Carrington, who was listening outside a window of the church, requested that he be buried on that spot. In 1810, he got his wish. And the drafter of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason, said, "Every word he says not only engages but commands the attention, and your passions are no longer your own when he addresses them." More immediately, the resolution, declaring the United Colonies to be independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, passed, and Henry was named chairman of the committee assigned to build a militia. Britain's royal governor, Lord Dunmore, reacted by seizing the gunpowder in the public magazine at Williamsburg—Virginia's equivalent of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Whatever the exact words of Henry were, "scholars, understandably, are troubled by the way Wirt brought into print Henry's classic Liberty or Death speech," wrote historian Bernard Mayo. "Yet . . . its expressions. . . seemed to have burned themselves into men's memories. Certainly its spirit is that of the fiery orator who in 1775 so powerfully influenced Virginians and events leading to American independence."
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Liberty ME
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care 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 so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 What Do Medical Assistants Do. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make 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 start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Liberty ME.
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