How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Lisbon Falls Maine
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lisbon Falls ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. 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 before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Lisbon Falls ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Lisbon Falls ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work 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. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Lisbon Falls ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain 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 graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Lisbon Falls ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lisbon Falls 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 should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Lisbon Falls ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Lisbon Falls ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Lisbon Falls health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Lisbon Falls 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 healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lisbon Falls ME, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lisbon Falls Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lisbon Falls ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lisbon Falls, Maine
Lisbon Falls is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Lisbon, located in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population of Lisbon Falls was 4,100 at the 2010 census. It is included in both the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, metropolitan statistical area and the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, Metropolitan New England city and town area.
Abenaki Indians called the falls Anmecangin, meaning "much fish". The area was once part of Little River Plantation, a portion of which was incorporated in 1799 as Thompsonborough, then renamed in 1802 after Lisbon, Portugal. In 1806, Lisbon annexed the remainder of Little River Plantation. With water power from the Androscoggin River, Lisbon Falls became a small mill town. Before it burned down in 1987, the Worumbo Mill was the main mill in Lisbon Falls. It had been incorporated in 1864, and was world-famous for its woolens. Especially well known were its vicuna wool products, which became famous when President Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams, received a vicuna sport coat as a gift from a wealthy industrialist and had to resign due to the resulting scandal. The town's primary employment is at a gypsum mill. Another large employer is Bath Iron Works, in nearby Bath, Maine.
The horror writer Stephen King attended Lisbon Falls High School. The fictional town of Castle Rock, which he used in several stories, is thought to be based on Lisbon Falls. King utilized the town's actual name, description, and citizens in his 2011 novel, 11/22/63.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Lisbon Falls ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lisbon Falls ME.
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