Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Manchester ME

How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Manchester Maine

Manchester ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Manchester ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Manchester ME nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Manchester ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Supplying basic support during exams and procedures

Although medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs

Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Manchester ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few 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 obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Manchester METhere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Manchester ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Manchester ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Manchester ME medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Manchester ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Manchester ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, 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 means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Manchester ME area health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Manchester healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Manchester ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Manchester ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Manchester Maine?

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

Manchester, Maine

Manchester is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States, located at 44°20′N 69°52′W / 44.33°N 69.87°W / 44.33; -69.87. The population was 2,580 at the 2010 census. The southern part of the town bordering Cobbosseecontee Lake is a popular recreation spot in central Maine, and part of the Winthrop Lakes Region. Manchester is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.62 square miles (58.59 km2), of which, 21.39 square miles (55.40 km2) of it is land and 1.23 square miles (3.19 km2) is water.[2]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 2,580 people, 1,044 households, and 761 families residing in the town. The population density was 120.6 inhabitants per square mile (46.6/km2). There were 1,255 housing units at an average density of 58.7 per square mile (22.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.0% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Manchester ME

Manchester ME medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged 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 Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Manchester ME.

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