How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Waterville Maine
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Waterville ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Waterville ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending 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 providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many 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 fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Waterville ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Waterville ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve 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 option for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Waterville 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 perhaps 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. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Waterville ME with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Waterville ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at 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 concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose 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 choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Waterville ME area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Waterville healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Waterville ME area and ask 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide 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 get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Waterville ME, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Waterville Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Waterville ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Waterville is a city in Kennebec County of the U.S. state of Maine, United States, on the west bank of the Kennebec River. Home to Colby College and Thomas College, the population was 16,406 at the 2016 census. Waterville is also the latter of the cities which make up the Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Waterville has a Mayor and council-manager form of government, led by a mayor and a seven-member city council. The city council is the governing board, and the city manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, responsible for the management of all City affairs. The city is also home to Fox affiliate WPFO and Daystar rebroadcaster WFYW-LP both serving the Portland market and to several radio stations including Colby's WMHB, country WEBB, adult standards WTVL and MPBN on 91.3 FM. The film Wet Hot American Summer is set in Waterville.
The area now known as Waterville was once inhabited by the Canibas tribe of Abenaki (Indigenous People). Called Taconnet after Chief Taconnet, the main village was located on the east bank of the Kennebec River at its confluence with the Sebasticook River at what is now Winslow. Known as Ticonic by English settlers, it was burned in 1692 during King William's War, after which the Canibas tribe abandoned the area. Fort Halifax was built by General John Winslow in 1754, and the last skirmish with Indigenous peoples occurred on May 18, 1757.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Waterville ME
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Is Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Waterville ME.
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