The Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services is a section of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. While they do not have a registry for medical assistant they refer to them frequently in their documents. Because they found the term healthcare professional too broad they have started to use the term credentialed medical assistants to refer to employees that have been recognized by national organizations beyond their current employer.
There is an incredible opportunity for men and women of every age to become medical assistants because of the changing landscape of healthcare in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new careers as a medical assistant are increasing three times the average rate for other jobs. The medical assistant works closely with the service team and the clients, this professional caregiver with excellent communication skills will find ample opportunities for career advancement and regular salary increases.
Credentials for the medical assistants are usually managed by national federations. After completing a program you can choose one of three possible tests to verify one’s skill level. The title certified medical assistant is awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA) while the title registered is given by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Both of these groups are recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) requires continual in-service to maintain their national registration, which is not as well known as the other titles. Furthermore the AAMA has established curriculum requirements for education programs that guarantee that the student has every opportunity for success. Look for this recognition when you are choosing the program that will prepare you as a medical assistant.
Maine has many programs for medical assistants which grant diplomas, certificates and associate degrees. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) recognises the programs at Beal College in Bangor, Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, and Washington County Community College in Calais. Several other programs are yet to be approved like the ones noted here: Intercoast Colleges in South Portland, Kaplan University in Augusta, Lewiston, and South Portland, Seacoast Career Schools in Sanford, and Northeast Technical Institute in Bangor and Scarborough.
While this summary focuses on getting your training at a traditional school, take a look at the increasing number of schools across the country that are developing online programs to prepare you as a medical assistant. In preparing to enter this profession, it is important to look at areas such as quality educational programs, recognized credentialing, and state requirements which differ based on where one intends to practice. Furthermore, the person planning to take this step needs to look at the cost of this investment with respect to time, energy level, and tuition. Careful planning and thoughtful decision making will yield a higher level of long term success in this field.
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