How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Patten Maine
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Patten ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short 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 Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Patten ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Education
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Patten ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Patten ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Patten ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative 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 Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Patten ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 approved 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Patten ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, 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 college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally 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, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Patten ME area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Patten medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Patten ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Patten ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy 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 Patten Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Patten ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The town was named for Amos Patten, a resident of Bangor, Maine, who about 1828 purchased Township No. 4, Range 6, as it was then designated, for its vast timber supply. In 1829 Amos Patten hired Ira Fish and Eli Kellogg to survey the land. The surveyors soon asked permission to establish their homes in Patten. The town was incorporated on April 16, 1841 and given its present name at that time. By 1850 the population numbered 470, reaching 704 in 1870, and 716 residents in 1880. The town's infrastructure gradually appeared. In March, 1841 the Congregational Church was organized. Within a few years, citizens began agitating for local education. A bill to appoint Trustees of the Patten Academy passed the Maine legislature and was signed by the governor in 1847. The Patten Academy opened its doors with 61 students in September, 1848, and educated its residents for more than a century.
As noted below, Patten is situated in close proximity to several major rivers and streams. This abundant water power, however, did not favor the development of large-scale industry, although small mills and workshops utilized its power during most of the town's history.
Two factors explain Patten's comparatively early development, and its position as the major town of the Penobscot panhandle and southwestern Aroostook in the nineteenth century. First, it is the first town beyond the Mount Katahdin range, giving it access to the upper East Branch and lower Allagash River basins, which were leading lumbering areas. Second, it has the best agricultural land in the proximity of those basins. As a result, lumbering stimulated very early development of commerce and farming; and the town early gained the status as the distribution center and cultural nexus of all the towns west of Houlton and north of Lincoln. It is situated at the intersection of Maine Rte. 11 and Maine State Route 159 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_State_Route_159).
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Patten ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Community College. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Patten ME.
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