How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Lovell Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lovell ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Lovell ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can 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 submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some prefer 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Lovell ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Lovell ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Lovell ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Lovell ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you select 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 accepted 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 examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Lovell ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Lovell ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Lovell medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Lovell 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 a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies 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 personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lovell ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lovell Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lovell ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
In 1774, the Massachusetts General Court granted New Suncook Plantation to the officers and soldiers (or their heirs) who fought on May 8, 1725 during Father Rale's War against the Sokokis Abenaki Indians at Pequawket (now Fryeburg). First settled in 1777, the community had 85 inhabitants by 1790. New Suncook Plantation would be incorporated as a town on November 15, 1800, renamed after Captain John Lovewell, the fallen expedition leader.
The Kezar River provided water power for industry. In the 19th century, mills produced spools, long lumber, shooks, axe handles, ox goads, carriages, sleighs, harness, cabinet work and coffins, and boots and shoes. Good soil helped farms prosper. Following the Civil War, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad connected to Fryeburg, and tourists discovered the beauty of Kezar Lake. Inns and hotels opened, and the town remains a summer resort.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.89 square miles (124.03 km2), of which, 43.15 square miles (111.76 km2) of it is land and 4.74 square miles (12.28 km2) is water. Lovell is drained by the Kezar River, a tributary of the Saco River. Kezar Lake is a significant lake within the town.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Lovell ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program 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 get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Associate Degree. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lovell ME.
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