How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Scarborough Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Scarborough ME, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might decide to research 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 must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Scarborough ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Education
Unlike most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Scarborough 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 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed 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 provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Scarborough ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Scarborough ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received 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 sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Scarborough ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Scarborough ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Scarborough ME area medical providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Scarborough health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Scarborough ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scarborough ME, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, 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 Scarborough Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Scarborough ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Scarborough is a town in Cumberland County on the southern coast of the U.S. state of Maine. The town is a coastal resort area. Located about 7 miles (11 km) south of Portland, Scarborough is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The population was 18,919 at the 2010 census.
In about 1630, John Stratton opened a trading post on Stratton Island in Saco Bay off Scarborough's shore. In 1631, the Plymouth Council for New England granted the "Black Point Patent" to Captain Thomas Cammock, nephew of the Earl of Warwick. Cammock built a house and began residence in 1635 on the 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) tract of land, which extended from the Spurwink River to Black Point - today this area is known as Prouts Neck. However, he then sold his holdings and moved to the West Indies. Nevertheless, settlements developed at Black Point, Blue Point (i.e., Pine Point), Dunstan (i.e., West Scarborough) and Stratton Island. By 1650, there were fifty homes. The town offered excellent fishing and farming. On July 14, 1658, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated them all as Scarborough, named for Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.
At the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675, Scarborough was an important coastal settlement with over one hundred houses and one thousand head of cattle. By 1676, the town had been laid to waste as a result of the war - some settlers were killed and others were taken hostage by the Native Americans. Subsequently, Massachusetts sent soldiers accompanied by Indian allies in 1677 to secure the town for resettlement. On June 29, 1677, while pursuing some Indians sent as a ruse, the company was ambushed by warriors under Chief Squando. In the New England militia of nearly one hundred soldiers, fifty to sixty were left dead or mortally wounded. Among the casualties was Captain Benjamin Swett. Called the Battle at Moore's Brook, it was an embarrassing rout for the military. In 1681, a great fort was erected at Black Point. After several attempts to rebuild between guerrilla incursions during King William's War, the survivors evacuated in 1690 and moved south to Portsmouth, New Hampshire or Boston.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Scarborough ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Evening Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Scarborough ME.
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