Medical Assistant Tech South Berwick ME

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near South Berwick Maine

South Berwick ME medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near South Berwick ME, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with South Berwick ME nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the South Berwick ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based 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 giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of South Berwick ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma 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 healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in South Berwick METhere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in South Berwick ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice 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 initial salary negotiations. Many possible South Berwick ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask South Berwick ME medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to South Berwick 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 assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential South Berwick ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with South Berwick ME area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the South Berwick health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the South Berwick ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near South Berwick ME, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near South Berwick Maine?

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

South Berwick, Maine

South Berwick is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 7,220 at the 2010 census. South Berwick is home to Berwick Academy, a private, co-educational university-preparatory day school founded in 1791.

The area was called Newichawannock by the Abenaki Indians, meaning "river with many falls," a reference to the Salmon Falls River. It was first settled by Europeans about 1631 as a part of Kittery known as Kittery North Parish. Near the confluence with the Great Works River, Ambrose Gibbons built the Great House at Newichawannock, a palisaded trading post, to exchange goods with the Indians.[4]

In 1634, William Chadbourne, James Wall, and John Goddard arrived from England aboard the ship Pied Cow to build a sawmill and gristmill at Assabumbadoc Falls. The first houses built in South Berwick were built by Chadbourne and Wall. Chadbourne's house was in the northwesterly angle of Brattle Street and Dow Highway (Rt. 236).[5][6][7]Richard Leader, an engineer, rebuilt the sawmill in 1651 to handle up to 20 saws. The factory became known as the "Great mill workes," from which the Great Works River derives its name. It was run by 25 Scottish prisoners of war captured by Oliver Cromwell's forces at the 1650 Battle of Dunbar and transported aboard the Unity to North America. They were sold as indentured servants whose labor would earn them freedom. The community was dubbed the Parish of Unity after the ship.[4]

Choose the Right Medical Assistant College South Berwick ME

South Berwick ME medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before 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, confirm 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 Medical Assistant Tech. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in South Berwick ME.

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