How Long To Become A Medical Assistant Hollywood FL

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Hollywood Florida

Hollywood FL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to join the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hollywood FL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may decide to take a look at a few 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 important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Hollywood FL nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Hollywood 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 practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Florida law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Hollywood FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Hollywood FLThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Hollywood FL area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the best option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Hollywood FL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Hollywood FL medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Hollywood FL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, 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 finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Hollywood FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out 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 naturally you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Hollywood FL area medical care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Hollywood medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Hollywood FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college 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 contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hollywood FL, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol 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 Hollywood Florida?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hollywood FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Hollywood, Florida

Hollywood is a city in Broward County, Florida, between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.[6] The average temperature is between 68 and 83 °F (20 and 28 °C). As of July 1, 2015 Hollywood had a population of 149,728.[7] Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the twelfth-largest city in Florida.[8] Hollywood is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census.

Joseph Young arrived in South Florida in 1920 in search to create his own “Dream City in Florida” and named the town after Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. His vision included the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic ocean stretching westward with man made lakes, infrastructure, roads and the Intercostal waterway. He wanted to include large parks, schools, churches, and golf courses; these were all industries and activities which were very important to Young’s life. After Young had spent millions of dollars on construction the city, he was elected as the first mayor in 1925. This new town quickly became home to northerners known as snowbirds. These snowbirds flee the north during the winter and then escape the south during the summer to avoid the harsh climates. By 1960, Hollywood contained more than 2,400 hotel units along with the construction of 12,170 single family homes. [9] Young bought up thousands of acres of land around 1920, and named his new town "Hollywood by the Sea" to distinguish it from his other real estate venture, "Hollywood in the Hills", in New York.

Young had a vision of having lakes, golf courses, a luxury beach hotel (Hollywood Beach Hotel, now Hollywood Beach Resort), country clubs, and a main street, Hollywood Boulevard.[10] After the 1926 Miami hurricane, Hollywood was severely damaged; local newspapers reported that Hollywood was second only to Miami in losses from the storm.[9] Following Young's death in 1934, the city encountered more terrific hurricanes and the stock market crashed with personal financial misfortunes.[10]

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Hollywood FL

Hollywood FL medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select 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 How Long To Become A Medical Assistant. But regardless 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Hollywood FL.

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