How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Hawthorne Florida
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hawthorne FL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges 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 kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Hawthorne FL clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers 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 tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Florida law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Hawthorne FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the 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 to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Hawthorne FL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed 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 requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Hawthorne FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Hawthorne FL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Hawthorne FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting 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 methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Hawthorne FL area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Hawthorne medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that very first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Hawthorne FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might 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 prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to see 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 working full time, it’s essential that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hawthorne FL, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may 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 emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hawthorne Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hawthorne FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13.0 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12.4 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2) (4.33%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,417 people, 561 households, and 357 families residing in the city. The population density was 295.2 inhabitants per square mile (114.2/km²). There were 681 housing units at an average density of 141.9 per square mile (54.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.4% European American, 45.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 561 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.534 and the average family size was 3.15.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Hawthorne FL
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is 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 appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hawthorne FL.
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