How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Springfield Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Springfield ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical 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 before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Springfield ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Springfield ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover 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 attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Springfield ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Springfield ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Springfield ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Springfield ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Springfield ME area health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Springfield health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Springfield ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Springfield ME, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask 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 Springfield Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Springfield ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien OBE (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), professionally known as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer and record producer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual mezzo-soprano sound, she was an important singer of blue-eyed soul and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with six top 20 singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sixteen on the UK Singles Chart from 1963 to 1989. She is a member of the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time. Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde bouffant hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, as well as her flamboyant performances made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.
Born in Enfield to a family that enjoyed music, Springfield learned to sing at home. In 1958 she joined her first professional group, The Lana Sisters, and two years later formed a pop-folk vocal trio, The Springfields, with her brother Tom Springfield and Tim Field. They became the UK's top selling act. Her solo career began in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit, "I Only Want to Be with You". Among the hits that followed were "Wishin' and Hopin' " (1964), "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (1964), "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (1966), and "Son of a Preacher Man" (1968).
As a fan of US soul music, she brought many little-known soul singers to the attention of a wider UK record-buying audience by hosting the first national TV performance of many top-selling Motown artists beginning in 1965. Partly owing to these efforts, a year later she eventually became the best-selling female singer in the world and topped a number of popularity polls, including Melody Maker's Best International Vocalist. Although she was never considered a Northern Soul artist in her own right, her efforts contributed a great deal to the formation of the genre as a result. She was the first UK singer to top the New Musical Express readers' poll for Female Singer.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Springfield ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Top Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Springfield ME.
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