How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near South Paris Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near South Paris 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 enroll in the best one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 factors as well. You might decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is ensure that the South Paris ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities 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 samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Programs
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many South Paris ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in South Paris ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible South Paris ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to South Paris ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, 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 approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential South Paris ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn 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. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with South Paris ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the South Paris medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the South Paris 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near South Paris ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near South Paris Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the South Paris ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
South Paris, Maine
South Paris is a census-designated place (CDP) located within the town of Paris in Oxford County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 2,237 at the 2000 census. While the CDP refers only to the densely settled area in the southern part of the town of Paris, the entire town is located within the South Paris ZIP code, resulting in many residents referring to the entire town as South Paris.
During the 19th-century, the Little Androscoggin River provided water power to operate mills in South Paris, and the village grew up around them. The opening of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad on June 8, 1850 further spurred development of the small mill town. In the 1890s, the Oxford County Courthouse moved from Paris Hill to be near the Grand Trunk Railway station. Much of the manufacturing and industry faded with the Great Depression, but South Paris remains the commercial section of Paris, and retains much of its Victorian era architecture. Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, the regional high school, was founded in South Paris in 1961. Actress Reta Shaw was born in South Paris in 1912.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.2 km²), of which, 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (2.03%) is water. South Paris is drained by the Little Androscoggin River.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program South Paris ME
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in South Paris ME.
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