How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Whitefield Maine
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whitefield ME, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the Whitefield ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving 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 many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Maine law, some opt 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Whitefield ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created 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 available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Whitefield ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. Between 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 mandate, but is a good idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Whitefield ME medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Whitefield ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Whitefield ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Whitefield ME area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Whitefield health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Whitefield 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 a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Whitefield ME, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whitefield Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Whitefield ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Whitefield is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,300 at the 2010 census. Whitefield is named for the celebrated British evangelist George Whitefield, who inspired the colonists before the town was settled in 1770, mainly by Irish Catholics. They remembered him when incorporation came in 1809. Whitefield is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.51 square miles (123.05 km2), of which, 46.82 square miles (121.26 km2) of it is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,300 people, 917 households, and 643 families residing in the town. The population density was 49.1 inhabitants per square mile (19.0/km2). There were 1,055 housing units at an average density of 22.5 per square mile (8.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Course Whitefield ME
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example 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 Medical Assistant Externship. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 gratifying career as a medical assistant in Whitefield ME.
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