How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Newcastle Maine
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Newcastle ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Newcastle ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. 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 responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Newcastle ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Newcastle ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Newcastle ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Newcastle ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Newcastle ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Newcastle ME area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Newcastle health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Newcastle ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, 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 Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Newcastle ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Newcastle Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Newcastle ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Damariscotta-Newcastle was a census-designated place (CDP) in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. It designated a concentration of population around where the most developed portions of the towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle meet, generally corresponding to the "Twin Villages" area. As of the 2000 census, the CDP population was 1,751 (roughly half of the combined population of the two towns). For the 2010 census, the area was delineated as two separate CDPs, Damariscotta and Newcastle.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km2), of which 5.6 square miles (15 km2) was land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), or 20.99%, was water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,751 people, 834 households, and 456 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 312.6 people per square mile (120.7/km²). There were 938 housing units at an average density of 167.4/sq mi (64.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.86% White, 0.11% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.40% Asian, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Newcastle ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Classes. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Newcastle ME.
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