How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Marco Island Florida
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Marco Island FL, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Marco Island 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 an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Florida law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Marco Island FL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few 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 option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical component involving 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 offered online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Marco Island FL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Marco Island FL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Marco Island FL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the school you choose 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Marco Island FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Marco Island FL area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Marco Island medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Marco Island FL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marco Island FL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training 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 issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Marco Island Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Marco Island FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Marco Island, Florida
Marco Island is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States, located on an island by the same name in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida. It is a principal city of the Naples–Marco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 16,413 at the 2010 census.
Marco Island is the largest barrier island within Southwest Florida's Ten Thousand Islands area extending southerly to Cape Sable. Parts of the island have some scenic, high elevations relative to the generally flat south Florida landscape. Like the city of Naples to the north, Marco Island has a tropical climate; specifically a tropical wet and dry or savanna type (Aw under the Köppen system). It is known for distinct wet and dry seasons, with most of the rainfall falling between the months of June and October.
The history of Marco Island can be traced as far back as 500 A.D., when the Calusa people inhabited the island as well as the rest of southwest Florida. A number of Calusa artifacts were discovered on Marco Island in 1896 by anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing as part of the Pepper-Hearst Expedition. The most notable artifact discovered was the carved wooden "Key Marco Cat" which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Program Marco Island FL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper 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 lifetime career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Outline. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision 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 selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Marco Island FL.
More Medical Locations in Florida
Business Results 1 - 10 of 24