How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Unity Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Unity ME, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Unity ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Unity ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, 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 two year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the 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 working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Unity ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Unity 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 arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Unity ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training 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 agencies 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 plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Unity ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’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 college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Unity ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Unity medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Unity ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Unity ME, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still 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 due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Unity Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Unity ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Unity is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,099 at the 2010 census. The town is the service center for the northern portion of Waldo County. Outside of Waldo county, it is best known as the home of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, its Common Ground Country Fair and Unity College. Unity College was founded in 1965 to offset the economic effects of the declining chicken farming industry. As of 2007, the college is the town's largest employer.
When originally settled by Quakers, the town was known as Twenty-Five Mile Pond Plantation. The name came from its being located on a pond twenty-five miles from Fort Halifax in Winslow. The name was changed to Unity upon incorporation as a town in 1804. In 1898, the Village School was opened. It remained in operation until 1953 when it closed and a new elementary school was built.
In 1996, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) purchased 200 acres of land in Unity, where it is now based. The MOFGA-run Common Ground Country Fair moved with the organization and annually brings more than 50,000 visitors to the town.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Unity ME
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Requirements. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Unity ME.
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