How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Oxford Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oxford ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Oxford ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Oxford ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed 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 typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Oxford ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Oxford ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Oxford ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Oxford ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Oxford ME area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Oxford health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Oxford ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oxford ME, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Oxford Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oxford ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Oxford is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,110 at the 2010 census. Oxford is home to the Oxford Plains Speedway, the annual Oxford County Fair, and Oxford Casino. The town includes the village of Welchville.
The land was part of Shepardsfield Plantation (also called Bog Brook Plantation), granted on March 8, 1777 by the Massachusetts General Court to Alexander Shepard, Jr. of Newton, Massachusetts. On March 6, 1792, the plantation was incorporated as Hebron, with Oxford its southwesterly portion. First settled in 1794, Oxford was set off and incorporated on February 27, 1829. It annexed land from Otisfield in 1830, and from Paris in 1838. The town was named after Oxford, in England.
Farmers grew mostly hay, and the town became noted for cattle. Mills were established at 2 water power sites; these developed in the 19th-century into principal villages within the town, especially after the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1850s. Welchville was located on the Little Androscoggin River, where the woolen textile mill of the Harper Manufacturing Company was established. At the outlet of Thompson Lake was Oxford village, first called Craigie's Mill for the sawmill and gristmill built by Andrew Craigie, a Boston apothecary and land speculator. This was also the site of a grisly murder that, to this day, goes unsolved. Here were erected a barrel stave mill, a shovel handle factory, and the woolen textile mills of the Robinson Manufacturing Company. The railroad brought seasonal tourists to Thompson Lake, where inns and hotels opened. Today, Oxford is a recreational area with fine architecture remaining from its prosperous mill town past. The Congregational Church, built in 1842–1843, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Oxford ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Oxford ME.
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