How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Sedgwick Maine
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Sedgwick ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several 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 type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Sedgwick ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Sedgwick ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals 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 additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Sedgwick ME area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Sedgwick ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of 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 take the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Sedgwick ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate 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 prospective Sedgwick ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Sedgwick ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Sedgwick medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Sedgwick ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sedgwick ME, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sedgwick Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sedgwick ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kyra Minturn Sedgwick Bacon (born August 19, 1965) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama The Closer. Sedgwick's role in the series won her a Golden Globe Award in 2007 and an Emmy Award in 2010. The series ended on August 13, 2012, following the completion of its seventh season. She is also known for her recurring role as Madeline Wuntch on the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Sedgwick was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance in Something to Talk About (1995). Sedgwick's other film roles include Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Cameron Crowe's Singles (1992), Heart and Souls (1992), Phenomenon (1996), What's Cooking (2000), Secondhand Lions (2003), The Game Plan (2007), and The Possession (2012). She also has one of the starring roles in the critically acclaimed 2016 comedy-drama movie The Edge of Seventeen.
Sedgwick was born in New York City, the daughter of Patricia (née Rosenwald), a speech teacher and educational/family therapist, and Henry Dwight Sedgwick V, a venture capitalist. Her father was Episcopalian and of English heritage, and her mother was Jewish. Sedgwick has identified herself as Jewish and has stated that she participates in Passover seders.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Sedgwick ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Certified Medical Assistant Do. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan 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 selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Sedgwick ME.
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