Medical Assistant Registration Peaks Island ME

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Peaks Island Maine

Peaks Island ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Peaks Island ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Peaks Island ME nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Peaks Island ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities 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 support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available 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

Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Peaks Island ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical 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 similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Peaks Island METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Peaks Island ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Peaks Island ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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 sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate 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 provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Peaks Island ME medical assistant programsPrior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Peaks Island ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Peaks Island ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Peaks Island ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Peaks Island healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Peaks Island 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 a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Peaks Island ME, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Peaks Island Maine?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Peaks Island ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Peaks Island

Peaks Island is the most populous island in Casco Bay, Maine. It is part of the city of Portland and is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) from downtown. The island became a popular summer destination in the late 19th century, when it was known as the Coney Island of Maine, home to hotels, cottages, theaters, and amusement parks.[1]

The island had an average population of 927 from the years of 2011 to 2015.[2] While small, the island hosts a variety of businesses including an ice cream parlor, restaurant, grocery store, kayak rentals, golf cart rentals, art galleries, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum[3] and the Umbrella Cover Museum, among others.[4]

Hollywood film director John Ford was known as "The Mayor of Peaks Island" because of his great affinity for the island. He vacationed there from boyhood through the early 1960s, worked as an usher at the Gem Theater and was a deckhand on the Casco Bay Lines ferries in his youth. Ford's relatives still live on the island.[citation needed]

Select the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Peaks Island ME

Peaks Island ME medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin 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 prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Registration. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Peaks Island ME.

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