How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Wilton Maine
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wilton ME, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges 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 offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Wilton ME hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working 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 confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a particular 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Wilton ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior 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 classes. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Wilton ME area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Wilton ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other 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 Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Wilton ME with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore 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 considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program 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 normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Wilton ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Wilton ME area medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Wilton health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Wilton ME area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wilton ME, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Wilton Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wilton ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The land replaced an invalidated 1727 grant by Massachusetts to veterans for service in the French and Indian Wars. The first grant (now part of Manchester, New Hampshire) was originally dubbed Harrytown after a particularly dangerous Native American, then renamed Tyngstown for Captain William Tyng, leader of the expedition of "snowshoe men" that killed him in 1703. Abraham Butterfield, a settler from Wilton, New Hampshire, paid the cost of incorporation in 1803 to have the new town named after his former residence.
Wilton is known for being the location of Maine's first cotton mill, started in 1810 by Solomon Adams. In 1876, George Henry Bass (1855–1925) founded G.H. Bass & Co. and became the best-known businessman in Wilton's history. Bass shoes (including those worn by Charles Lindbergh during his Atlantic crossing and Admiral Byrd in his expeditions to Antarctica) were made exclusively in Wilton for more than a century until 1998. By then the Bass family had sold out, and in 1998 Bass' parent company, Phillips-Van Heusen, moved operations overseas.
John Russell Bass (b. 1878), son of G. H. Bass, was treasurer for the firm and served as Maine delegate to the Republican national convention in 1920, 1944 and 1952. The company built much of its success on the Bass penny weejun, introduced in 1936 and said to be based on Norwegian fisherman's shoes. The style was an instant hit, and became a staple on college campuses across the nation. The shoe was later renamed the Leavitt penny weejun; it is no longer made in Wilton.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Wilton ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is 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 acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Wilton ME.
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