How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Naples Maine
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Naples ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Naples ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities 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 practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some prefer 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 Education
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Naples ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Naples ME area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Naples ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After 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 schools that are nearest to Naples ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Naples ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on 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 assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Naples 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 Naples health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Naples ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Naples ME, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Naples Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Naples ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Naples is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The population was 3,872 at the 2010 census, and it is home to part of Sebago Lake State Park. Naples is a resort area.
The area was settled in 1790. Farming was limited by the soil, which consisted of gravelly loam, its surface strewn with glacial erratic boulders. The uplands, however, provided good grazing for livestock, and hay became the principal crop.
Named for Naples, Italy, the town was incorporated on March 4, 1834, from parts of Otisfield, Harrison, Raymond and Bridgton. Between 1845 and 1856, it annexed more land from Sebago, Otisfield and Bridgton. The Songo Lock, completed two years before town incorporation, linked Long Lake and Brandy Pond with Sebago Lake, allowing passage of boats from Harrison to Portland through the Cumberland and Oxford Canal in Standish. A canning factory and cooperage were established at Naples village. The community also produced carriages, men's and boy's clothing, boots and shoes.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Naples ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to 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 decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Courses Near Me. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Naples ME.
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