How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Rockport Maine
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Rockport ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Rockport ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available 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 Training Courses
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Rockport ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Rockport ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Rockport ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected 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 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Rockport ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Rockport ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools 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 schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’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. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Rockport ME area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Rockport medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Rockport ME area and ask 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 medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Rockport ME, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Rockport Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Rockport ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Rockport is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. It is thirty-five miles southeast of Augusta. The population was 3,330 at the 2010 census. Rockport is a popular tourist destination and art colony.
Rockport, or "the River" was settled in 1769 by Robert Thorndike. Goose River Village (as it was known until 1852), was originally part of the Megunticook Plantation, incorporated in 1791 as Camden. Shipbuilding, ice harvesting and the manufacture of lime were important early industries. In 1817, three hundred casks of lime were sent to Washington, DC for use in the rebuilding of the United States Capitol, which had been damaged by the British during the War of 1812. In 1852, the citizens of Goose River voted to change their village's name to Rockport for its rocky terrain. On February 25, 1891, Rockport officially split from Camden because of a dispute over the cost of constructing a bridge. The town of Rockport was born and from Camden it took half the population, three quarters of the land, and most importantly the profitable lime and ice industries.
Rockport has a longstanding reputation as an artists' community, with notable artists and art institutions playing a significant role in the town's economic and social life. Bay Chamber Concerts was established in 1961 as a continuation of the summer music instruction of the Curtis Institute. Mary Louise Curtis Bok, central to founding both Bay Chamber Concerts and the Curtis Institute, was one of the largest landowners in Rockport. At one time she owned most of the eastern shore of the harbor. Mary Lea Park, adjacent to the Rockport Opera House, is named in honor of both her and Rockport resident and violinist Lea Luboshutz.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Rockport ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before 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 addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 Study. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Rockport ME.
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