How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Homosassa Springs Florida
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Homosassa Springs FL, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right 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 cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Homosassa Springs FL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. 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 responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Florida law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Training Courses
Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Homosassa Springs FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed 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 two year programs available at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Homosassa Springs 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 training might be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Homosassa Springs FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Homosassa Springs FL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the college 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Homosassa Springs FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Homosassa Springs FL area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Homosassa Springs health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Homosassa Springs FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
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 prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Homosassa Springs FL, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Homosassa Springs Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Homosassa Springs FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Homosassa Springs, Florida
Homosassa Springs is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Citrus County, Florida, United States. The population was 13,791 at the 2010 census. Homosassa Springs is the one principal city of the Homosassa Springs, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Homosassa Springs is located in southern Citrus County at 28°48′26″N 82°33′0″W / 28.80722°N 82.55000°W / 28.80722; -82.55000 (28.807216, -82.550012). The CDP is to the east of U.S. Routes 19 and 98 (Suncoast Boulevard); the CDP of Homosassa is located to the west of the highway, as is Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Homosassa Springs is bordered to the northwest by the city of Crystal River, to the east by Lecanto, and to the south by Sugarmill Woods.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,458 people, 5,201 households, and 3,604 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 482.1 people per square mile (186.1/km2). There were 6,041 housing units at an average density of 233.8/sq mi (90.3/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.65% White, 0.90% African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.09% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Homosassa Springs FL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make 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 subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Homosassa Springs FL.
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