How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Standish Maine
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Standish ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Standish ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular 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 Programs
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Standish ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Standish ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Standish ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained 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, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Standish ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the college you select 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Standish ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’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. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Standish ME area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Standish medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Standish ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small 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 convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Standish ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Standish Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Standish ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Standish is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 10,139 at the 2015 census. It includes the villages of Standish Corner, Sebago Lake Village and Steep Falls, and the localities known as Richville, Standish Neck and Two Trails. Standish is part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.
This was once hunting and fishing territory of the Abenaki tribe, whose main village was at Pequawket (now Fryeburg) up the Pequawket Trail (now Route 113). In 1750, the Massachusetts General Court granted the township to Captain Moses Pearson and Captain Humphrey Hobbs, together with their respective companies, for services during the French and Indian Wars.
It was to be called Pearson and Hobbs Town, but Hobbs died and none of his company took possession. In 1752, the land was surveyed and divided into 30-acre (120,000 m2) lots, although some soldiers sold their rights for whatever they could get. Those that did settle found their cabins razed by Indians trying to drive them away. In response, the veterans built at Standish Corner a stockaded fort, which provided protection until Indian hostilities ceased in 1759 with the Fall of Quebec. Pearsontown Plantation was incorporated as Standish on November 30, 1785. The town is named in honor of Captain Myles Standish.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Course Standish ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Night School. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure 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 subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Standish ME.
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