How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Stonington Maine
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stonington ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” 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 Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is ensure that the Stonington ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some prefer 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 mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Stonington ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Stonington ME area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Stonington ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained 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). To qualify to sit 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, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Stonington ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Stonington ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically 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 one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Stonington ME area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Stonington medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stonington ME area and find out 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 health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Stonington ME, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stonington Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stonington ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stonington is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. Its located on the southern portion of the island of Deer Isle. The population was 1,043 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of Burnt Cove, Oceanville, Green Head, and Clam City. A picturesque working waterfront and tranquil tourist destination in eastern Penobscot Bay, Stonington has consistently ranked among the top lobster ports in the county and is the largest lobster port in Maine. In 2011, 14,854,989 pounds of lobster were landed by Stonington fishermen with a value of $46.3 million.
As far back as 6,100 years ago the first inhabitants of Deer Isle were Native Americans known as the Abenaki, speaking a language called Etchemin. One of the first Europeans to explore the area was Estevan Gomez, a Portuguese working for the Spanish Crown. Gomez sailed his ship La Anunciada up the Eggemoggin Reach, amongst other places along the Maine coast, looking for gold and the Northwest Passage. It was the French, however, who would be the most active in the region. Establishing a fort at Castine and intermarrying with Abenaki natives. A body buried in full French armor was discovered on nearby Campbell Island (+44° 13' 20.03", -68° 36' 33.24", south of Oak Point).
The first white settler of Deer Isle was one William Eaton (b. 1720 Salisbury, Massachusetts, d. circa 1790 Seabrook, New Hampshire) and family, arriving on the island prior to August 4, 1762. They settled in an area now known as Scott's Landing (so named for the second owner of the property: Nathaniel Scott) located near the Deer Isle/Little Deer Isle Causeway By 1765, migration to Deer Isle had begun in earnest and Eaton, along with 16 other families, petitioned the governing state of Massachusetts for legal title to the land. The largest group of these first settlers came from Newburyport, Massachusetts and were mostly of Scottish and Irish descent. Ironically, those settlers had come looking for a new life on the land, not the sea. A few cellar holes and foundation stones from the original homesteads can still be found at Scott's Landing and the land they cleared is still open. Settlers continued their southward migration on the island and eventually established the village of Green's Landing (as Stonington was initially known) after 1800.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant College Stonington ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Stonington ME.
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