How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Washburn Maine
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Washburn ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes 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 important factors as well. You may decide 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 college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is ensure that the Washburn ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available 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 professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Washburn ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided 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 courses. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional 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 also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Washburn ME area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Washburn ME medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Washburn ME with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Washburn ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Washburn ME area healthcare providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Washburn health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Washburn ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive 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 possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Washburn ME, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may 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 emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Washburn Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Washburn ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Washburn Guitars is an American manufacturer and importer of guitars, mandolins, and other string instruments. The original company was established in 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. The modern Washburn is a division of US Music Corp., in turn now owned by JAM Industries USA.
Lyon & Healy began in 1864 as a partnership of businessmen George W. Lyon and Patrick J. Healy, acting as the Chicago outlet for Boston sheet music publisher Oliver Ditson and Company. By 1865, Lyon & Healy had expanded into reed organs and some small instruments. The company achieved independence by 1880, and around 1888 the company launched fully into fretted and plucked instruments (guitars, mandolins, banjos, and zithers) under the "Washburn" brand, which happened to be Lyon's middle name.[better source needed]
Tracing the history of any particular instrument of this period presents many obstacles. Not only did the Lyon & Healy company often change designs to follow the rapidly evolving consumer demand, but the company also repaired instruments, and offered engraving services, including decorating instruments that it retailed but did not actually manufacture. As well, they built instruments for other retailers and distributors under various house brands, and outsourced construction of some models.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Washburn ME
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Program. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Washburn ME.
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