How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Presque Isle Maine
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Presque Isle ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided 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 role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Presque Isle ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may 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 practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Training
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Presque Isle ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally 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 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 technical 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 usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Presque Isle ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Presque Isle ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of 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, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Presque Isle ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Presque Isle ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Presque Isle ME area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Presque Isle medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Presque Isle ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Presque Isle ME, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Presque Isle Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Presque Isle ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Presque Isle, Maine
Presque Isle /prɛsk aɪl/ is the commercial center and largest city in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,171 in 2015 as estimated by the US Census, a decrease from the count of 9,692 in the 2010 Census. The city is home to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College, Husson University Presque Isle, Northern Maine Fairgrounds, The Aroostook Centre Mall, and the Presque Isle International Airport.
The first European settlers were British Loyalists who reached the area in 1819 hoping to obtain land for lumber. Border disputes between the United States and the United Kingdom over the area, however, made it impossible for pioneers to gain title to the land. In response, the government of the neighboring British colony of New Brunswick (now a Canadian province) gave out patents for pioneers to live on the land but not claim ownership or sell it. By 1825, surveyors traveling along the Aroostook river noted that twenty families lived along it and noted that while agriculture was present, all of the families employed most of their time towards wood production.
The boundary dispute slowed development in the area, but the government of Massachusetts, which governed the territory at the time, saw the territory as theirs and encouraged the development of settlements in northern Maine by offering land grants and mill privileges in the 1820s. The first American to settle in the area was Dennis Fairbanks in 1828 who gained ownership over the land under the provisions set up by Massachusetts and later Maine, which gained statehood in 1820.
Select the Right Medical Assistant School Presque Isle ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays 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 select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Certification Online Schools. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Presque Isle ME.
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Maine - Wikipedia
Maine is the northernmost state in New England and the largest, accounting for almost half of the region's entire land area. Maine is the only state to border exactly one other American state (New Hampshire). Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in its extreme points and in its geographic center.
Maine.gov - Official site includes links to services available online, Governor, state agencies, Legislature, US Congressional delegation, state parks, and tax information.
Maine Hotels, Restaurants, & Things to Do — Maine.com
Located on the gorgeous coastline of Maine, the Mid-Coast Islands are ideal for whale watching, grabbing the best seafood in the country or simply exploring small town Maine. The picturesque towns of Wiscasset, Camden, Rockland, Belfast, Brunswick, Damariscotta and others are located in this region, offering stunning year-round coastal views for residents and tourists alike.
Maine | History, Facts, Map, & Points of Interest | Britannica
Maine, constituent state of the United States of America. The largest of the six New England states in area, it lies at the northeastern corner of the country. Its total area, including about 2,300 square miles (6,000 square km) of inland water, represents nearly half of the total area of New England.
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