How Long Does It Take To Be A Medical Assistant Windham ME

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Windham Maine

Windham ME medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Windham ME, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short 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

medical assistant with Windham ME nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Windham ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing general support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Maine law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Training Programs

Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Windham ME health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Windham METhere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be performed in Windham ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Windham ME medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Windham ME medical assistant programsPrior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Windham ME with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Windham ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Windham ME area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Windham healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Windham ME area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, 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 Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Windham ME, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Windham Maine?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Windham ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Windham, Maine

Windham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 17,001 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of South Windham and North Windham. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The township was granted in 1734 by the Massachusetts General Court to Abraham Howard, Joseph Blaney and 58 others from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1737, New Marblehead Plantation was settled by Captain Thomas Chute. By order of the Massachusetts General Court, a fort was built in spring of 1744 on a hill in the southern part of town near the early center of settlement to offer protection during King George's War. A 50-foot square blockhouse constructed of 12-inch thick hewn hemlock had an overhanging second story with firing ports and two swivel guns in watch posts on diagonal corners. The blockhouse was surrounded by a stockade wall of 12-inch diameter log posts 16 feet long. The single gate through the stockade wall was covered by a 4.2-inch (11 cm) bore 9-pounder cannon within the blockhouse.[4]

The town's inhabitants took shelter in the stockade between 1745 and 1751. The last Indian attack on the town occurred on May 14, 1756. New Marblehead Plantation was incorporated on June 12, 1762 as Windham, named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England.[5] Windham Minutemen marched to Portland in response to the Burning of Falmouth on 18 October 1775 and sixteen men were drafted from the town for the Penobscot Expedition. Thirteen Windham men are reported as being members of the Continental Army with George Washington's American Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge.[4] Windham's 9-pounder cannon and one swivel gun from the stockade blockhouse were loaned to Portland in 1775. Portland had refused to surrender these guns to Captain Henry Mowat as he demanded before he burned the town; and they were placed aboard the privateer Reprieve in 1776.[6]

Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Windham ME

Windham ME medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Be A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Windham ME.

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