How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Sabattus Maine
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sabattus ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest 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 some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Role of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Sabattus ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Programs
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Sabattus 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 offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Sabattus ME area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Sabattus ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Sabattus ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Sabattus ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Sabattus ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Sabattus healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Sabattus ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sabattus ME, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sabattus Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sabattus ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Sabattus is a town in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,876 at the 2010 census. It is included in both the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Metropolitan New England City and Town Area. The town was formerly known as Webster, and changed its name to Sabattus in 1971, in honor of a former Anasagunticook Indian chief.
The town was set off from Lisbon,and incorporated as Webster on March 7, 1840. The name Sabattus comes from one of the chiefs of the Native American tribe that lived in the area. The tribe had moved on when the settlers came. The only parts of the town to bear the name Sabattus were the lake, river, and mountain. The spelling changed from Sabattis to the current spelling.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.91 square miles (69.70 km2), of which 25.71 square miles (66.59 km2) is land and 1.20 square miles (3.11 km2) is water.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Sabattus ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Technical School. But irrespective of the type 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Sabattus ME.
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