How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Raymond Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Raymond ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many prospective students start by evaluating 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Raymond ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Raymond ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Raymond ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Raymond ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as 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 evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind 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 researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Raymond ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Raymond ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Raymond ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Raymond healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Raymond ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Raymond ME, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Raymond Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Raymond ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Raymond is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,436 at the 2010 census. It is a summer recreation area and is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. Raymond Neck is the landing for the ferry to the town of Frye Island in Sebago Lake. The Raymond school system is currently affiliated with the Windham school system in a district known as RSU 14.
Raymondtown Plantation was granted in 1767 by the Massachusetts General Court to the descendants of Captain William Raymond of Beverly, Massachusetts, and his militia. It was the second attempt to repay the troop (or heirs) for service under Governor Sir William Phipps during the Battle of Quebec in 1690. A township had been awarded them in 1735 called Beverly-Canada (now Weare, New Hampshire), but in 1741 descendants of John Mason proved a prior claim.
The township at Sebago Lake was given to the Beverly Proprietors as compensation. It was first settled in 1770 by Captain Joseph Dingley and Dominicus Jordan of Cape Elizabeth, although most families arrived after the Revolutionary War. It was on the stage route to Bridgton. On June 21, 1803, the Raymondtown Plantation was incorporated as Raymond, named in honor of Captain Raymond. In 1829, land was annexed to help form the new town of Naples, and in 1841, Casco was set off and incorporated as a town.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Raymond ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection 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 critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Trade Schools Near Me. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Raymond ME.
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