How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Strong Maine
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Strong ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Strong ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based 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 responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties 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 samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn 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 Training
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Strong ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical 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 training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the 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 working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Strong ME area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Strong ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Strong ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Strong ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, 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 ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Strong ME area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Strong healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Strong ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher 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 broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Strong ME, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the policy 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 Strong Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Strong ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Stronger Than Me
"Stronger Than Me" is a song by English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse from her debut studio album Frank (2003). Written by Winehouse and Salaam Remi, "Stronger Than Me" was released in the United Kingdom as the lead single on 6 October 2003, it ended up as the lowest-charting single from Frank and of Winehouse's career, peaking at number 71 on the UK Singles Chart. The song nevertheless won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song Musically and Lyrically in 2004.
The single for "Stronger Than Me" features an exclusive B-side, "What It Is". A rare live version of the song performed by Winehouse was featured in the documentary film biopic that's based on the life & death of Winehouse, Amy (2015) and the original version was included on the film's original soundtrack. It was said in the film that "Stronger Than Me" first sold over 800 copies a day after its initial release by Winehouse's previous guitarist, Ian Burter.
A music video was produced to promote the single. The video features Winehouse entering a bar and finding her boyfriend drunk. The video follows the lyrics of the song as Winehouse degrades her boyfriend for his failure to be the stronger and more dominant partner. The video continues as Winehouse acts as the more dominant partner helping her boyfriend home. Winehouse is seen being fondled by her drunken boyfriend as they struggle to exit the bar, then seen looking on in disgust as he vomits from the taxi driving them home. As the video concludes, Winehouse is seen on a retro street set struggling to get her unconscious boyfriend into their home. Failing to do so, Winehouse gives up, leaving him semi-conscious on the street and going inside as the song ends.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Strong ME
It’s important 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 healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Strong ME.
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