Medical Assistant Skills Lisbon ME

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Lisbon Maine

Lisbon ME medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lisbon ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Lisbon ME nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Lisbon ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect 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 medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Lisbon ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Lisbon METhere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Lisbon ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Lisbon ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Lisbon ME medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Lisbon ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Lisbon ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused 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 methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Lisbon ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Lisbon medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Lisbon ME area and ask 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 medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lisbon ME, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Maine?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lisbon ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Lisbon, Maine

Lisbon is a town in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,009 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. Lisbon includes the village of Lisbon Falls.

The community was originally part of Bowdoin, a township within the Kennebec Purchase. But because travel to attend town meetings was difficult, on June 22, 1799 the General Court of Massachusetts divided Bowdoin in two to create Thompsonborough. Residents, however, soon grew dissatisfied with the long name. Consequently, it would be renamed in 1802 as Lisbon, after Lisbon in Portugal. In 1808, Lisbon annexed the remainder of Little River Plantation (part of the Pejepscot Purchase) as Lisbon Falls. In 1840, part of Lisbon was set off as Webster.[4]

With fertile and easily cultivated soil, farming was an early industry. Sawmills and gristmills were built using water power from the streams. Larger brick mills followed to manufacture textiles. In 1864, the Worumbo Mill was established to produce woolens,[5] and would remain a principal employer until it burned in 1987. Today, the small mill town is largely a bedroom community for companies like Bath Iron Works and L.L.Bean and increasingly for people working in the Portland area.[6]

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Lisbon ME

Lisbon ME medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Skills. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Lisbon ME.

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