How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Soldier Pond Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Soldier Pond ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You may want to take a look at 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 relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools 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 available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Soldier Pond ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt 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 Training Courses
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Soldier Pond ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals 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 offered at community and junior colleges together with 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 training. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to go to 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 added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Soldier Pond ME area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Soldier Pond ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Soldier Pond ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Soldier Pond ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’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 college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally 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 one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Soldier Pond ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Soldier Pond medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Finding that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Soldier Pond ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Soldier Pond ME, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Soldier Pond Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Soldier Pond ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
When the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975, Chorn-Pond and hundreds of other children were sent to Wat Ek Phnom, a Buddhist temple near Battambang converted into a prison camp, where he survived by playing the flute and keeping the soldiers entertained.
In five days a master trained Chorn-Pond and four other children to play the flute and the khim, a Cambodian hammered dulcimer. The children learned to play a traditional lullaby known as bompay. At the end of that time, Chorn-Pond and another boy were chosen to play propaganda songs for the camp guards. The other three children and the master were led away and killed. "When they brought in another old master for more lessons," Chorn-Pond recalled, "I begged them not to kill him. I told them I didn’t have enough skills yet, and I offered them my own life instead." On a visit to Cambodia in 1996, he was reunited with his teacher.
Eventually he escaped into the jungle where he survived for months by himself. "I followed monkeys and ate whatever they ate. I fished with my hands and ate fruits, and killed monkeys, too." In late 1980 he crossed the border into Thailand and a Thai Soldier took him to the Sa Kaeo Refugee Camp. There he met the Reverend Peter L. Pond. "He weighed about 60 pounds and he was very sick," Reverend Pond later recalled, "He had cerebral malaria and he was really close to death...This sick little child reached up and touched me, and said in English, 'Hello.' That...was Arn Chorn from the very first, reaching out and touching."
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Soldier Pond ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Soldier Pond ME.
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