How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Livermore Falls Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Livermore Falls ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Livermore Falls ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Courses
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Livermore 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 fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Livermore Falls ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Livermore Falls ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Livermore Falls ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to examine when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Livermore Falls ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Livermore Falls ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Livermore Falls medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Livermore Falls ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Livermore Falls ME, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Livermore Falls Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Livermore Falls ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Livermore Falls, Maine
Livermore Falls is a town in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,187 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. High school students in Livermore Falls attend Spruce Mountain High School.
The area was once part of the Abenaki Indian territory called Rockemeka, meaning "great corn place." It would be granted by the General Court of Massachusetts in 1871 as Port Royal, awarded to heirs of veterans who served in the campaign against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. It was settled in 1886, then incorporated in 1895 as Livermore after Deacon Elijah Livermore, one of the first English settlers. The county line, determined by the Androscoggin River, divided the town. West of the river was Oxford County, and east was Kennebec County. Consequently, East Livermore (which encompassed a quarter of the original Port Royal grant) was set off and incorporated on March 1, 1844. It became part of Androscoggin County on March 31, 1854. In 1930, East Livermore was renamed Livermore Falls.
In the early 19th century, the region was predominantly farmland, with apple orchards and dairies supplying markets at Boston and Portland. It was noted for fine cattle. As the century progressed, gristmills, sawmills, logging and lumber became important industries, operated by water power from falls that drop 14 feet. With the arrival of the Androscoggin Railroad in 1852, Livermore Falls developed as a small mill town. Shoe factories and paper mills were established, including the Umbagog Pulp Company started by Hugh J. Chisholm. In 1897, the Third Bridge was built across the Androscoggin. It measured 800 feet in length, at that time the longest single-span bridge in New England.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Livermore Falls ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided 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 choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Livermore Falls ME.
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