Medical Assistant Graduation Seal Harbor ME

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Seal Harbor Maine

Seal Harbor ME medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Seal Harbor ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Seal Harbor ME nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Seal Harbor ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Education

Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Seal Harbor ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Seal Harbor METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Seal Harbor ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Seal Harbor ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained 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 apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Seal Harbor ME medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Seal Harbor ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Seal Harbor ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, 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 ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Seal Harbor ME area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Seal Harbor medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Seal Harbor ME area and ask 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 healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Seal Harbor ME, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Seal Harbor Maine?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Seal Harbor ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Hoover (seal)

On May 5, 1971,[3] Scottie Dunning discovered a tiny male harbor seal pup on the shore of Cundy’s Harbor, Maine. After a failed attempt at locating the pup’s mother, Dunning called his brother-in-law George Swallow for help. When Swallow arrived, the two searched for the mother seal and later found her dead among the rocks.[4]

After careful consideration, Swallow finally decided to take the seal pup home with him. At first, it refused to drink milk from a bottle, but once advice was given by a neighbor to grind up fish and offer it to the pup, he sucked it up like a hoover (vacuum cleaner), hence his name.[5]

The Swallows kept him in their bathtub, but this proved too inconvenient within a few days. So George moved him out back to a spring-fed pond where he set up a “pup tent” enclosed by a wire fence.[4] Hoover lived very much like a family dog and even accompanied George riding into town with his head poking out of the window.[3]

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Seal Harbor ME

Seal Harbor ME medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Graduation. But regardless of the kind 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Seal Harbor ME.

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