How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Washington Maine
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Washington ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students start 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, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Washington ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic 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 obtain certification. Two of the options available 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
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Washington ME health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few 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 attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade 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 frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Washington ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Washington ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Washington ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Washington 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 create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn 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 school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select 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 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Washington ME area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Washington healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Washington ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? 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 likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Washington ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy 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 Washington Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Washington ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
George Washington (February 22, 1732[b][c] – December 14, 1799) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and served as the nation’s first President (1789–1797). In the American Revolutionary War, General Washington led Patriot forces to victory over the British and their allies. He presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, and he has been called the "Father of His Country"
Washington was born to a moderately prosperous family of planters and slaveholders in colonial Virginia. He had early educational opportunities, learned mathematics, and soon launched a successful career as a surveyor which enabled him to make significant land investments. He then became a key leader of the Virginia militia in the French and Indian War. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, leading an allied campaign to victory at the Siege of Yorktown which ended the conflict. His devotion to Republicanism and revulsion for tyrannical power impelled him to decline further authority after victory, and he resigned as commander-in-chief in 1783.
As the country’s premier statesman, Washington was unanimously elected President by the Electoral College in the first two national elections. He promoted and oversaw implementation of a strong, well-financed national government, using the economic plans of his Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, while remaining impartial in the fierce rivalry between Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. When the French Revolution plunged Europe into war, Washington proclaimed a policy of neutrality to protect American ships, while the controversial Jay Treaty of 1795 normalized trade relations with Great Britain. He set numerous precedents that have endured, such as the Cabinet advisory system, the inaugural address, and the title "Mr. President". His seminal Farewell Address strongly warned against political partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Washington ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training these days 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 select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Online School. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Washington ME.
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