How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near North Yarmouth Maine
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near North Yarmouth ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the North Yarmouth ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may 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
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many North Yarmouth ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade 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 courses. They usually have a clinical 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
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in North Yarmouth ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible North Yarmouth ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to North Yarmouth ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective North Yarmouth ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’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 college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with North Yarmouth ME area health care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the North Yarmouth healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the North Yarmouth ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near North Yarmouth ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near North Yarmouth Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the North Yarmouth ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
North Yarmouth, Maine
North Yarmouth, officially the Town of North Yarmouth, is a town in Cumberland County, Maine. The population was 3,565 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.41 square miles (55.45 km2), of which, 21.22 square miles (54.96 km2) of it is land and 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2) is water.
The area embracing North Yarmouth, first settled in 1636, was abandoned twice before successful final settlement in 1713. In 1646, William Royall purchased a farm on the river that, since, has borne his name. John Cousins, a few years previous, occupied a neck of land between branches of a stream and owned an island, both now bearing his name. These settlements were established in the vicinity, called by the Wabanakis, as “Wescustogo”. Yarmouth originally constituted the eastern portion of North Yarmouth; the “North” in the name intended to differentiate it from Yarmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod (Maine was then a part of Massachusetts). North Yarmouth was chartered on September 22, 1680, encompassing the area of the present Town of North Yarmouth and the future towns of Harpswell (until 1750), Freeport (until 1789), Pownal (until 1808, from Freeport), Cumberland (until 1821), and Yarmouth (until 1849).
Pick the Best Medical Assistant School North Yarmouth ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Credentials. 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, be 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 subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in North Yarmouth ME.
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