How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Oakfield Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oakfield ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most potential 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 factors as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Oakfield ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate 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 tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Oakfield ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (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 certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical 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 clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four 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 too. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Oakfield ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Oakfield ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Oakfield ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Oakfield ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Oakfield ME area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Oakfield health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Oakfield 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 a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience 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 program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oakfield ME, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oakfield Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oakfield ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.9 square miles (48.95 km2), of which 10.2 square miles (26.42 km2) is land and 8.7 square miles (22.53 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 737 people, 323 households, and 215 families residing in the town. The population density was 21.0 inhabitants per square mile (8.1/km2). There were 496 housing units at an average density of 14.1 per square mile (5.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.3% African American, 2.0% Native American, 0.1% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
There were 323 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.4% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.78.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Course Oakfield ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Colleges Near Me. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Oakfield ME.
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