How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School in Wesley Maine
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant course in Wesley ME, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Wesley ME clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although Wesley ME medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Maine law, some choose to specialize in a specific 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 Courses and Certification
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Wesley ME employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically 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 prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 related field.
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Wesley ME employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in regional Maine healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant in Wesley ME is provided.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus near Wesley ME or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching colleges. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the lowest tuitions. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when assessing Maine programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in 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 intend to become certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Wesley ME employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited Wesley ME area medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the Wesley ME area colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many Maine medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with area health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Wesley ME medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers in the Wesley ME area to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program in the Wesley ME area to experience 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 essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Wesley ME, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant School in Wesley ME
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether 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 obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Wesley ME.
Why Did You Decide to Become a CMA?When prepping to interview for a medical assistant position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask applicants is "What compelled you to decide on medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Certified Medical Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to medical assisting, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding medical assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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