How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Norway Maine
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Norway ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 issues also. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask all of the schools 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 Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Norway ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Norway ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Norway ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Norway ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly 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, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Norway ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools 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 enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, 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 Norway 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 schools create 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 to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out 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 college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one 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 elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Norway ME area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Norway health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Norway ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout 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 convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Norway ME, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Norway Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Norway ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The town was first called Rustfield after Henry Rust of Salem, Massachusetts, a large landowner. It was cleared and settled after 1786 by Joseph Stevens, followed by George Leslie, Amos Hobbs, Jeremiah Hobbs, Jonas Stevens and Nathaniel Stevens, together with their families from Gray. Many who moved here had been soldiers in the Revolutionary War, including Phineas Whitney, who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill. A sawmill and gristmill were established in 1789, and in 1796, the first road was built. Rustfield Plantation was incorporated on March 9, 1797, as Norway. The town had petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to be named Norage, which is Native American for falls. Why it was changed is unknown—fire destroyed the town records in 1843. During the Civil War, Norway and other municipalities in Oxford County provided a militia company to the 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment under the command of George Lafayette Beal, who would later rise to the rank of major general and serve as State Treasurer from 1888 to 1894.
The town had fertile soil for cultivation. The Pennesseewassee Stream, which drains Lake Pennesseewassee into the Little Androscoggin River, provided water power for industry. At the falls were established two grain mills, a cloth and carding mill, furniture factory, box factory and a shovel handle factory. There was a tannery, with other businesses making harness and trunks. A shoe manufactory was established in 1872. The busy stage route from Paris, the county seat, to Fryeburg passed through Norway. By 1878, there were 32 stores in the town, which for a number of years had the fastest growing population of any similar town in the state. On December 30, 1879, the Norway Branch Railroad opened, running from Norway village on a line 1.45 miles (2.3 kilometers) long to connect with the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad (later Grand Trunk Railroad) at South Paris. But the Great Norway Fire of May 9, 1894, would destroy a substantial portion of the business district. Started in the C. B. Cummings & Sons mill, it was spread by a strong wind down Main Street. The opera house, Congregational Church, tannery, and 80 homes and other buildings were lost. Much of Norway was rebuilt the same year, with several structures in brick.
Norway was once called the "Snowshoe Capital of the World" because of the many snowshoes manufactured here. In 1906, Walter Tubbs established the Tubbs Snowshoe Company to produce ash snowshoes, skis, sleds and furniture. W.F Tubbs supplied the polar expeditions of Byrd and Peary. In the early 1930s, the Tubbs Company moved to Vermont, and in 2004, it was bought by K2 Sports. The Tubbs snowshoes are now made at a factory in Guangzhou, China. With the exit of the Tubbs Company, another snowshoe company, SnoCraft Inc. was opened in the old Tubbs factory. The firm made 70% of the snowshoes ordered by the U.S. government during World War II
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Norway ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Are Medical Assistant Courses. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Norway ME.
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