How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Woolwich Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Woolwich ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Woolwich ME clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can 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 medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Maine law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Woolwich ME health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution 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 conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Woolwich ME area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Woolwich ME medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Woolwich ME with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Woolwich ME employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Woolwich ME area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Woolwich medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Landing that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Woolwich 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 indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Woolwich ME, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Woolwich Maine?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Woolwich ME area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Woolwich is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,072 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. Woolwich is a suburb of the city of Bath located on the opposite shore of Merrymeeting Bay.
Called Nequasset after Nequasset lake by Abenaki Indians, it was first settled in 1638 by Edward Bateman and John Brown. They would purchase the land in 1639 from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, who lived near Nequasset Falls. At Day's Ferry on the Kennebec River, Richard Hammond operated a fortified trading post. His household of 16, including servants, workmen and stepchildren, conducted a lucrative fur trade with the Indians. But in the first blow of King Philip's War in the area, on the evening of August 13, 1676, warriors ingratiated themselves into the stockaded trading post, then killed the elderly Hammond and his stepson as they returned for the night. Others were either slain and scalped or taken into captivity. Buildings were looted and burned, and the cattle slain.
Nequasset was attacked during King William's War, when inhabitants were again massacred or forced to abandon their homes. It was assailed again in 1723 during Dummer's War, when the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from Canada, incited by the French missionary Sebastien Rale, burned dwellings and killed cattle. Following Governor William Dummer's peace treaty of 1725, resettlement would be slow. During the French and Indian War, on June 9, 1758, Indians raided the village, killing members of the Preble family and taking others prisoner to Quebec. This incident became known as the last conflict on the Kennebec River.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Woolwich ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. 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 covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What’s A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Woolwich ME.
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