How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Whiting Maine
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Whiting ME, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Whiting ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals 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 submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Whiting ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices provided for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Whiting ME area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Whiting ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Whiting ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Whiting ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Whiting ME area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Whiting medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Whiting ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whiting ME, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Whiting Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Whiting ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Whiting is a town in Washington County, Maine, United States. The town was named after Timothy Whiting, an early settler. The population was 487 at the 2010 census. The town was originally known as Orangetown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 52.07 square miles (134.86 km2), of which, 46.74 square miles (121.06 km2) of it is land and 5.33 square miles (13.80 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 487 people, 206 households, and 145 families residing in the town. The population density was 10.4 inhabitants per square mile (4.0/km2). There were 378 housing units at an average density of 8.1 per square mile (3.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 93.6% White, 0.2% African American, 1.2% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Whiting ME
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Certified Medical Assistant. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Whiting ME.
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