How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Key Biscayne Florida
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Key Biscayne FL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? Most prospective students start by researching 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools 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 type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Key Biscayne FL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Florida law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available 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
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Key Biscayne FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Key Biscayne FL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Key Biscayne FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Key Biscayne FL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Key Biscayne FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Key Biscayne FL area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Key Biscayne healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Key Biscayne 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 an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small 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 practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to witness 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 college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Key Biscayne FL, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Key Biscayne Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Key Biscayne FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Key Biscayne, Florida
Key Biscayne lies south of Miami Beach and east of Miami. The village is connected to Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway, originally built in 1947. Because of its low elevation and direct exposure to the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually among the first Miami areas to be evacuated before an oncoming hurricane.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2). 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (8.63%) is water.
While there had been earlier schemes to develop a town on Key Biscayne, it wasn't until the opening of the four-mile (6 km) long Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami to Virginia Key and on to Key Biscayne in 1947 that the island was opened up to large scale residential development. The northern two-thirds of the island had been operated as the largest coconut plantation in the continental United States during the first half of the 20th century. In 1940 the Matheson family donated over 800 acres (3.2 km2) of their land to Dade County for a public park (Crandon Park) in exchange for a commitment that the county would build a causeway to the island. The remaining Matheson property, stretching across the middle of the island, was then sold off to developers. Starting in 1951, the Mackle Construction Company offered new homes on the island for US$9,540, with just US$500 down. A U.S. Post Office contract branch was opened, the Community Church started holding services in an old coconut-husking shed, and the Key Biscayne Elementary School opened in 1952.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Key Biscayne FL
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information 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 personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Schools Near Me. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Key Biscayne FL.
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