How to Select a Medical Assistant School near South China Maine
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near South China ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the South China ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Training
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of South China 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 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to 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 classes. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in South China ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible South China ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to South China ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective South China ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with South China ME area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the South China healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the South China ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near South China ME, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near South China Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the South China ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
South China, Maine
South China is a village in the town of China in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. It is one of five villages of China. It is between the cities of Augusta and Waterville. It is both an hour and a half from Bangor and Portland. Route 3 runs through the main part of the town. It is sometimes known as South Oak Hill Road.
South China Lake is home to Friends Camp, a Quaker summer camp which has been active for over 50 years. It is the home of a Christian church, named South China Community Church, across from the South China library (the oldest operating library in Maine). The church is open to and welcomes all practicing Christians of any denomination. Three-Mile Pond can be accessed from Route 3, a mile south of the South China Community Church. South China is also home to Maine's second largest private high school, Erskine Academy.
Ron Reed Antiques is on Mayflower Drive. At the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Mayflower Drive is the Pond and three camps to the right is Grammy's Camp at 12 West Washington Boulevard. It also used to contain a small restaurant that served breakfast and lunch known as "Dog Days." Now however it is a Curves. In 2008, a new restaurant was established in the town known as the "China Dine-ah" which serves country cooking style meals and sells various apparel with its logo on it. MJEK's grill opened in the summer of 2012 right beside the China Dine-ah. An ice cream shop, Back's Dairy Bar, is open during the spring and summer. During the summer it also opens a food section known as "Fat Joe's", which serves seafood, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other American meals. The small village, despite its old appearance, is rapidly growing. Recently, a new Hannaford's was constructed right off of Route 3. A Family Dollar store was also recently built. The current Norm's restaurant opened in 2013 adjacent to the Family Dollar on Route 3. Most recent is the upgrade of a convenience store also on Route 3. It has both a Subway and a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in it.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Course South China ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in South China ME.
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