How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near South Bristol Maine
Once you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near South Bristol ME, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the South Bristol ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work run 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 giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many South Bristol 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 basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in South Bristol ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible South Bristol ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to South Bristol ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective South Bristol ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine 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 naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with South Bristol ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the South Bristol healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job can 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 interviewing provide job placement assistance in the South Bristol ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near South Bristol ME, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near South Bristol Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the South Bristol ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
South Bristol, Maine
South Bristol is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 892 at the 2010 census. A fishing and resort area, South Bristol includes the villages of Walpole and Christmas Cove, the latter at Rutherford Island. The town has three nature preserves.
This was once territory of the Wawenock (or more precisely Walinakiak, meaning "People of the Bays") Abenaki Indians, who traveled in canoes to hunt for fish, shellfish, seals and seafowl. In 1614, Captain John Smith explored the coast, and is said to have named Christmas Cove when he visited it on Christmas Day. The land was subsequently part of the Pemaquid Patent, granted by the Plymouth Council for New England in 1631 to Robert Aldsworth and Gyles Elbridge, merchants from Bristol, England, from which the town derives its name.
A palisade fort and settlement were built on the adjacent Pemaquid Peninsula. Between 1630 and 1650, the area was the center for fur trading in Maine. It was attacked and rebuilt repeatedly during the French and Indian Wars, with the final two attacks occurring in 1747 at Fort Frederick. In 1765, Bristol was incorporated as a town, with South Bristol its western portion. On March 26, 1915, South Bristol was set off and incorporated as a separate town.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Program South Bristol ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in South Bristol ME.
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Maine is the northernmost state in New England and the largest, accounting for almost half of the region's entire land area. Maine is the only state to border exactly one other American state (New Hampshire). Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in its extreme points and in its geographic center.
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