How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Stockholm Maine
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stockholm ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of prospective 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 cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Stockholm ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Stockholm ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Stockholm ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical 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 wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Stockholm ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Stockholm ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 approved organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Stockholm ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate 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 elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Stockholm ME area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Stockholm health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Stockholm ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Stockholm ME, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stockholm Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stockholm ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System and Law Enforcement Bulletin shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.
This term was first used by foreign media in 1973 as eponym when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostages defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them. Stockholm syndrome is ostensibly paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments captives feel towards their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain an onlooker may feel towards the captors.
Stockholm syndrome is considered a "contested illness", due to many law enforcement officers' doubt about the legitimacy of the condition. Stockholm syndrome has also come to describe the reactions of some abuse victims beyond the context of kidnappings or hostage-taking. Actions and attitudes similar to those suffering from Stockholm syndrome have also been found in victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, discrimination, terror, and political and religious oppression.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Stockholm ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision 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 anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Career. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision 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 choosing the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Stockholm ME.
More Medical Locations in Maine