How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Boca Raton Florida
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Boca Raton FL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Boca Raton FL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Florida law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Boca Raton FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one 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 trade 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 training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Boca Raton FL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Boca Raton FL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Boca Raton FL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school 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 aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Boca Raton FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Boca Raton FL area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Boca Raton medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Boca Raton FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boca Raton FL, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Boca Raton Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Boca Raton FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Boca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton (/ˌboʊkə rəˈtoʊn/;Spanish: Boca Ratón, pronounced [ˈboka raˈton]) is the southernmost city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, first incorporated on August 2, 1924 as "Bocaratone," and then incorporated as "Boca Raton" in 1925. The 2015 population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau was 93,235. However, approximately 200,000 people with a Boca Raton postal address reside outside its municipal boundaries. Such areas include newer developments like West Boca Raton. As a business center, the city also experiences significant daytime population increases. It is one of the wealthiest communities in South Florida. Boca Raton is 43 miles (69 km) north of Miami and is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which had a population of 6,012,331 people as of 2015.
Boca Raton is home to the main campus of Florida Atlantic University and the corporate headquarters of Office Depot, ADT, Lynn University, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Bluegreen Corporation, and the Gift of Life Marrow Registry. It is also home to the Evert Tennis Academy, owned by professional tennis player Chris Evert. Town Center Mall, an upscale shopping center in Central Boca Raton, is the largest indoor mall in Palm Beach County. Another major attraction to the area is Boca Raton's downtown, known as Mizner Park.
Many buildings in the area have a Mediterranean Revival or Spanish Colonial Revival architectural theme, initially inspired by Addison Mizner, a resort architect who heavily influenced the city's early development. Still today, Boca Raton has a strict development code for the size and types of commercial buildings, building signs, and advertisements that may be erected within the city limits. No outdoor car dealerships are allowed in the municipality; further, Walmart is blocked from within the city proper. No billboards are permitted; the city's only billboard was grandfathered in during annexation. The strict development code has led to several major thoroughfares without large signs or advertisements in the traveler's view.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Boca Raton FL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type 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 provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Boca Raton FL.
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