How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Sullivan 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 Sullivan ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Sullivan ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Sullivan ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 typically two year programs available 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 training. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred 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 offered online too. They are a good alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Sullivan ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain 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 an excellent choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Sullivan ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. 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 take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Sullivan ME with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should 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 great reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 accepted 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Sullivan 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 colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Sullivan ME area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Sullivan health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Sullivan ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sullivan ME, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Sullivan Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Sullivan ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Sullivan is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,236 at the 2010 census. The town was named for Daniel Sullivan, an early settler. Colloquially referred to as "Sully" or "the Sullivans" – like many Maine municipalities composed of villages with geographic designations of the town proper – the municipality was incorporated in 1789. Located in the Upper Schoodic Peninsula sub-region of Maine's Downeast Acadia region, the municipality has been known as as "Waukeag", "New Bristol", and later Sullivan; and once included the nearby communities of Hancock, Sorrento, and what would later be (parts of Gouldsboro Point TWP, Tunk Lake TWP, the Schoodic Foothills, Hog Bay, and various other districts over time divided off) Township 7, South & Middle Districts. Once home to abundant granite quarries, the town of Sullivan is now a residential community for nearby Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island. Located along U.S. Route 1, the Taunton River, and Hog Bay, Sullivan is home to a reversing tidal falls and many scenic turnouts that dot the Schoodic National Scenic Byway along the Upper Schoodic Peninsula.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.62 square miles (76.72 km2), of which 26.67 square miles (69.07 km2) is land and 2.95 square miles (7.64 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,236 people, 528 households, and 332 families residing in the town. The population density was 46.3 inhabitants per square mile (17.9/km2). There were 806 housing units at an average density of 30.2 per square mile (11.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 0.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Sullivan ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training. 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Sullivan ME.
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