How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Lincolnville Maine
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lincolnville ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Lincolnville ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Lincolnville ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have 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 pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Lincolnville ME area medical care 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 best option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Lincolnville ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, 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 evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lincolnville ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Lincolnville ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program targeting 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get 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 decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Lincolnville ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Lincolnville medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Lincolnville 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 indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lincolnville ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lincolnville Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lincolnville ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Approximately 10,000 years ago, a glacier covered the area to a depth of several thousand feet, carving irregular landforms that survive today. The earliest artifact of European origin was fragments of a 1650-1660 clay pipe, probably a trade good with the native population. First settled in 1774, the town was incorporated in 1802 from Canaan and Ducktrap plantations. It was named for General Benjamin Lincoln, a Revolutionary War General and friend of Henry Knox.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.65 square miles (113.05 km2), of which, 37.34 square miles (96.71 km2) is land and 6.31 square miles (16.34 km2) is water. Located along the western side of Penobscot Bay, Lincolnville is drained by the Ducktrap River. Principle bodies of water include: Megunticook Lake, Norton Pond (123 acres), Coleman Pond (225 acres), Moody Pond (61 acres) and Levenseller Pond (34 acres).
The town is served by U.S. Route 1, Maine State Routes 173, 52 and 235. It is bordered by Belmont on the north, Northport on the northeast, Penobscot Bay on the east, Camden on the south, Hope on the west and Searsmont on the northwest.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Lincolnville ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Online School. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lincolnville ME.
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