How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training in Wayne Maine
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Wayne ME, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short 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 Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Wayne ME hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing 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. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While Wayne ME medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered 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 and Certification
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Wayne ME employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Wayne ME employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in area Maine healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Wayne ME is provided.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Wayne ME or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating Maine schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Wayne ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited Wayne ME area medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, 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 example, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the Wayne ME area colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many Maine medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with regional healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Wayne ME healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers in the Wayne ME area to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program in the Wayne ME area to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends in Wayne ME, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course in Wayne ME
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Wayne ME.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Certified Medical Assistant?When preparing to interview for a medical assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask applicants is "What made you choose medical assistance as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a Medical Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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