How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near New Harbor Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near New Harbor ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in 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 most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the New Harbor ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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 Courses
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many New Harbor ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a 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 alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good option for those who may not have 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 to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in New Harbor ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential New Harbor ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to New Harbor ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential New Harbor ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with New Harbor ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the New Harbor health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the New Harbor ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near New Harbor ME, confirm 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 practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near New Harbor Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the New Harbor ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population is 5,235. Bar Harbor is a popular tourist destination in the Down East region of Maine and home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory, and MDI Biological Laboratory (Salisbury Cove village). Prior to a catastrophic 1947 fire, the town was a noted summer colony for the wealthy. Bar Harbor is home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point within twenty-five miles (40 km) of the coastline of the Eastern United States. The town is served by the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which has flights to Boston, Massachusetts, as well as seasonal flights to Newark, New Jersey, and Portland, Maine.
The town of Bar Harbor was founded on the northeast shore of Mount Desert Island, which the Wabanaki Indians knew as Pemetic, meaning "range of mountains" or "mountains seen at a distance." The Wabanaki seasonally fished, hunted and gathered berries, clams, and other shellfish in the area. They spoke of Bar Harbor as Man-es-ayd'ik ("clam-gathering place") or Ah-bays'auk ("clambake place"), leaving great piles of shells as evidence of this abundance. In early September 1604, French explorer Samuel de Champlain ran aground on a rock ledge believed to be just off Otter Cliffs, and when he came ashore to repair his boat he met local natives. Champlain named the island Isles des Monts Deserts, meaning "island of barren mountains"—now called Mount Desert Island, the largest in Maine.
The community was first settled by Europeans in 1763 by Israel Higgins and John Thomas and incorporated on February 23, 1796 as Eden, after Sir Richard Eden, an English statesman. Early industries included fishing, lumbering and shipbuilding. With the best soil on Mount Desert Island, it also developed agriculture. In the 1840s, its rugged maritime scenery attracted the Hudson River School and Luminism artists Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, William Hart and Fitz Henry Lane. Inspired by their paintings, journalists, sportsmen and "rusticators" followed. Agamont House, the first hotel in Eden, was established in 1855 by Tobias Roberts. Birch Point, the first summer estate, was built in 1868 by Alpheus Hardy.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program New Harbor ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of 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, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Is A Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in New Harbor ME.
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