How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Skowhegan Maine
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Skowhegan ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most future students start by checking out 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Skowhegan ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based 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 practitioners but can also be found working 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
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Skowhegan ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain 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 comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Skowhegan ME area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Skowhegan ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Skowhegan ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Skowhegan ME employers will not employ 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 develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Skowhegan ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Skowhegan health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Skowhegan ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Skowhegan ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Skowhegan Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Skowhegan ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Skowhegan /skaʊˈhiːɡən/ is the county seat of Somerset County, Maine, United States. Skowhegan was originally inhabited by the indigenous Abenaki people who named the area Skowhegan, meaning "watching place [for fish]." The native population was massacred or driven from the area during the 4th Anglo-Abenaki War. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 8,589. Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture is an internationally known residency program for artists, though it is technically located in neighboring East Madison. Every August, Skowhegan hosts the annual Skowhegan State Fair, the oldest continuous state fair in the United States.
For thousands of years prior to European settlement, this region of Maine was the territory of the Kinipekw (later known as Kennebec) Norridgewock tribe of Abenaki. The Norridgewock village was located on the land now known as Madison. The Abenaki relied on agriculture (corn, beans, and squash) for a large part of their diet, supplemented by hunting, fishing, and the gathering of wild foods. The Skowhegan Falls (which have since been replaced by the Weston Dam) descended 28 feet over a half-mile on the Kennebec River. From spring until fall the tribe fished here, where abundant salmon and other species could be caught by wading. They speared salmon and other fish in the pools beneath two waterfalls there and utilized the rich land on its banks to raise corn and other crops. This place was an important stop on their annual migrations from northern hunting grounds in winter to coastal Maine in summer. They dried fish on the Island in early summer and planted crops to be harvested on their return northward in autumn. Consequently, they named the area Skowhegan, meaning "watching place [for fish]." Early variant names include Schoogun, Squahegan, Cohegan, Cohigin, Schouhegan, Scohigin, Cohiggin, Scowhegan, Scohegan, Scunkhegon, Squhegan, Sou heagan, Sou Heavyon, etc.
The village's Catholic mission was run by a French Jesuit priest, Father Sébastien Râle. Massachusetts governor Samuel Shute declared war on the Abenaki in 1722. On August 22, 1724, Captains Johnson Harmon, Jeremiah Moulton, and Richard Bourne (Brown) led a force of two hundred rangers to the main Abenaki village on the Kennebec River to kill Father Sébastien Râle and destroy the settlement. The Battle of Norridgewock (also known as the "Norridgewock Raid") took place on August 23, 1724. The land was being fought over by England, France and the Wabanaki Confederacy, during the colonial frontier conflict referred to as Father Rale's War. Despite being called a 'battle' by some, the raid was essentially a massacre of Indians by colonial British troops. The raid was undertaken to check Abenaki power in the region, limit Catholic proselytizing among the Abenaki (and thereby perceived French influence), and to allow the expansion of New England settlements into Abenaki territory and Acadia. Other motivations for the raid included the special ₤100 scalp bounty placed on Râle's head by the Massachusetts provincial assembly and the bounty on Abenaki scalps offered by the colony during the conflict. Most accounts record about eighty Abenaki being killed, and both English and French accounts agree that the raid was a surprise nighttime attack on a civilian target, and they both also report that many of the dead were unarmed when they were killed, and those massacred included many women and children. Lieut. Richard Jaques killed Rale in the opening moments of the battle; the soldiers obscenely mutilated Rale's body and later paraded his scalp through the streets of Boston to redeem their reward for the scalp of Rale with those of the other dead. The Boston authorities gave a reward for the scalps, and Harmon was promoted. The rangers massacred nearly two dozen women and children. The Rangers fired around the canoes filled with families. Harmon noted that at least 50 bodies went downstream before the rangers could retrieve them for their scalps. As a result of the raid, New Englanders flooded into the lower Kennebec region, establishing settlements there in the wake of the war. Two English militiamen were killed. Harmon burned the Abenaki farms, and those who had escaped were forced to abandon their village. The 150 Abenaki survivors returned to bury the dead before abandoning the area and moving northward to the Abenaki village of St Francois (Odanak, Quebec).
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Program Skowhegan ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in 3 Month Medical Assistant Program. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Skowhegan ME.
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