How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Bradenton Florida
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bradenton FL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about 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 furnished some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Bradenton FL hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Florida law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and attain 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 Courses
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Bradenton FL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals 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 solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Bradenton FL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Bradenton FL 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 respected 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 be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Bradenton FL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Bradenton FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Bradenton FL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Bradenton healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that very first job can 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 evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Bradenton FL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bradenton FL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bradenton Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bradenton FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bradenton (/ˈbreɪdəntən/ BRAY-dən-tən) is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's 2016 population to be 54,437. Bradenton is a principal city of the North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton metropolitan statistical area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 702,281. It is the county seat.
The area that would become Bradenton (originally spelled "Braidentown" and then amended to "Bradentown") was explored in 1539 by the Spanish during the famous expedition led by Hernando De Soto. Bradenton was established in 1842. The original town of Bradentown was incorporated in 1903. The city took the name of Dr. Joseph Braden, whose nearby fort-like house was a refuge for early settlers during Seminole Indian attacks. The current city of Bradenton was formed in 1943, when the Florida legislature merged the cities of Manatee (incorporated in 1888) and Bradentown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Bradenton has a total area of 14.44 square miles (37.4 km2), of which 12.11 square miles (31.4 km2) is land and 2.33 square miles (6.0 km2) (16.14%) is water. Bradenton is located on US 41 between Tampa and Sarasota. The area is surrounded by waterways, both fresh and saltwater. Along the Gulf of Mexico and into Tampa Bay are over 20 miles (32 km) of Florida beaches, many of which are shaded by Australian pines. Bordered on the north by the Manatee River, Bradenton is located on the mainland and is separated from the outer barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key by the Intracoastal Waterway.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Bradenton FL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective 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 appropriate 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 individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Cost To Become A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bradenton FL.
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