Medical Assistant Course Requirements Live Oak FL

How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Live Oak Florida

Live Oak FL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Live Oak FL, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues as well. You might choose to research 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 complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Live Oak FL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Live Oak FL hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Giving general support during exams and procedures

Although medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under Florida law, some elect 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Programs

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Live Oak FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive 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 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.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Live Oak FLThere are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Live Oak FL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Live Oak FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained 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). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Live Oak FL medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After 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 students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Live Oak FL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the college you select 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 approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Live Oak FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Live Oak FL area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Live Oak health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that first 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 evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Live Oak FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care 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 individual 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Live Oak FL, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask 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 Live Oak Florida?

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

Live Oak, Florida

Live Oak is a city in Suwannee County, Florida, United States. The city is the county seat of Suwannee County[5] and is located east of Tallahassee. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 6,850.

The founding of Live Oak dates back to shortly before the Civil War. Established in 1858, Live Oak was located at a junction between two strategically important railways: one operating between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, and another running south from Dupont, Georgia. A large live oak tree located off the railways was a gathering and resting spot for many of the workers on the line, and gave the new cityscape its name. The tree was formerly located where the now-present Pepe's Mexican Grocery on U.S. 90 is located.[6]

The city and surrounding area was the setting for the lynching of Willie James Howard. Howard, a 15-year-old African-American man living in Live Oak, was lynched for having written a "fresh" letter to a white girl (Cynthia Goff, his co-worker in a dime store), on January 2, 1944. The girl's father, A.P. "Phil" Goff, a former state legislator, along with S.B. McCullers and Reg H. Scott, allegedly went to Willie's house and forcibly took the youth from his mother. They picked up Willie's father, James Howard, at the Bond-Howell Lumber Company where he worked, then drove to the Suwannee River east of Suwannee Springs, where they bound Willie by the hands and feet, and forced the youth to choose between getting shot and jumping into the Suwannee River. After his father said he could do nothing to save him, Willie jumped into the river and drowned. Goff, McCullers and Scott signed an affidavit which stated that they had only wanted James Howard to whip his son and, rather than be whipped by his father, Willie had committed suicide by jumping into the river. James Howard also signed the affidavit, but after selling his home and moving to Orlando, he recanted. Harry T. Moore, of the NAACP, interviewed the parents. After a county grand jury failed to indict, Moore was able to get a federal investigation started, but no convictions followed. Goff, McCullers and Scott died without having to face murder charges.

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Live Oak FL

Live Oak FL medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Requirements. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Live Oak FL.

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