Medical Assistant Major Lake Mary FL

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School near Lake Mary Florida

Lake Mary FL medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lake Mary FL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Lake Mary FL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Lake Mary FL clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working 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 specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Florida law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Education

Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Lake Mary FL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare 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 related field.

Medical Assistant Online Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Lake Mary FLThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Lake Mary FL area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right choice for you. Between 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 earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Lake Mary FL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Lake Mary FL medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lake Mary FL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Lake Mary FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn 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 of course you will want to select 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 ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Lake Mary FL area healthcare providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Lake Mary health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Lake Mary FL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Mary FL, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lake Mary Florida?

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

Lake Mary, Florida

Rated by Money magazine as the #4 best place to live in America in the August 2007 issue. It had its city hall created in 1946. It currently has a history museum in the Lake Mary Chamber of Commerce Building.[5]

As of the 2000 census,[3] there were 11,458 people, 4,199 households, and 3,271 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,330.8 inhabitants per square mile (513.8/km²). There were 4,351 housing units at an average density of 505.4 per square mile (195.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.33% White, 3.60% African American, 0.24% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.22% of the population.

There were 4,199 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.8% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 16.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.08.

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant College Lake Mary FL

Lake Mary FL medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning 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 obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing 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, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Major. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lake Mary FL.

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