How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Daytona Beach Florida
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Daytona Beach FL, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Daytona Beach FL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Florida law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Daytona Beach FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior 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 often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened as well. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Daytona Beach FL area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Daytona Beach FL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly 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, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Daytona Beach FL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Daytona Beach FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must 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 naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Daytona Beach FL area health care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Daytona Beach health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Daytona Beach FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Daytona Beach FL, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Daytona Beach Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Daytona Beach FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It lies about 51 miles (82.1 km) northeast of Orlando, 86 miles (138.4 km) southeast of Jacksonville, and 242 miles (389.5 km) northwest of Miami. In the 2010 U.S. Census, it had a population of 61,005. It is a principal city of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area, which was home to 590,289 people in 2010. Daytona Beach is also a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida.
The city is historically known for its beach where the hard-packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, and the old Daytona Beach Road Course hosted races for over 50 years. This was replaced in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR.
Daytona Beach hosts large groups of out-of-towners that descend upon the city for various events, notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 race in July, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program Daytona Beach FL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 Medical Assistant Skills. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Daytona Beach FL.
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