How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Pembroke Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pembroke ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Pembroke ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some prefer 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Pembroke ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Pembroke ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Pembroke ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Pembroke ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, 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 prospective Pembroke ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Pembroke ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Pembroke medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Pembroke ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pembroke ME, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy 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 Pembroke Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Pembroke ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Called Pennamaquan by the Passamaquoddy Indians, the area was settled about 1774 as part of Dennysville. It was set off and incorporated on February 4, 1832 by the legislature, which named it after Pembroke in Wales, a community with a history of wooden shipbuilding stretching back to the Middle Ages. With one of the finest harbors in Maine, Pembroke too became a shipbuilding center. Vessels were constructed here as early as 1825. By 1859, when the population was 1,712, there were seven shipyards operating. Most schooners constructed here were used either by the coasting trade or fisheries.
Pembroke also had a stone factory, three sawmills, one gristmill, four shingle mills and four lath machines. Near the head of tide stood the Pembroke Iron Company, established in 1832 and by 1856 producing almost 5,000 tons of iron spikes, rivets and nails a year. Another occupation was agriculture. In 1880, the town's population was 2,324.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.26 square miles (91.32 km2), of which, 27.36 square miles (70.86 km2) of it is land and 7.90 square miles (20.46 km2) is water. Drained by the Pennamaquan River, Pembroke is on Cobscook Bay.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Pembroke ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Needed. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Pembroke ME.
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