How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Brandon Florida
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Brandon FL, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Brandon FL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Florida law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Programs
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Brandon FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics 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 in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Brandon FL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Brandon FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among 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). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered 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 evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, 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 opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Brandon FL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Brandon FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Brandon FL area health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Brandon medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Brandon FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to observe 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 school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brandon FL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Brandon Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Brandon FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Brandon is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 103,483, up from 77,895 at the 2000 census.
Its history began on January 20, 1857, when John Brandon (1809–1886) arrived at Fort Brooke (now Tampa) from Mississippi with his first wife Martha (1813–1867) and six sons. At first he moved his family to what is now the Seffner area. Then in August 1858, John Brandon purchased 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the New Hope area (now Brandon) and 160 acres (0.65 km2) later on and then named his land "Brandon". John and his second wife Victoria's house was located on what would become the corner of Knights Avenue and Victoria Street. Four years later, the New Hope Church was built on land donated by Brandon. Besides being the first church in the community, it also served as Brandon's first school.
In 1890, the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad came through the area, encouraging the people of New Hope to build a depot on Moon Avenue. Charles S. Noble, an engineer for the FC&P, was asked to plat approximately forty acres of land north of present-day State Road 60, south of Lake Meade, east of Kings Avenue, and west to Parsons Avenue. Filed on April 24, 1890, the surveyor named the community in honor of John Brandon and Noble Street for himself.
Select the Best Medical Assistant School Brandon FL
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Brandon FL.
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