Medical Assistant Overview North Miami Beach FL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near North Miami Beach Florida

North Miami Beach FL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near North Miami Beach FL, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few 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 role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with North Miami Beach FL nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the North Miami Beach FL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Florida law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training Courses

In contrast to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many North Miami Beach FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 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 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in North Miami Beach FLThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be completed in North Miami Beach FL area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential North Miami Beach FL medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask North Miami Beach FL medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to North Miami Beach FL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective North Miami Beach FL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with North Miami Beach FL area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the North Miami Beach medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the North Miami Beach FL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Miami Beach FL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may 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 North Miami Beach Florida?

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

North Miami Beach, Florida

North Miami Beach (commonly referred to as NMB) is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. Originally named Fulford in 1926 after Captain William H. Fulford of the United States Coast Guard, the city was renamed North Miami Beach in 1931. The population was 41,523 at the 2010 census.

The hurricane of 1926 essentially ended the South Florida real estate boom, and in an effort to alleviate their losses and the damage to the city, local residents came together as the Town of Fulford. In 1927, the city was incorporated as the City of Fulford.[6]

North Miami Beach is located at 25°55′49″N 80°10′1″W / 25.93028°N 80.16694°W / 25.93028; -80.16694.[7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2). 5.0 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (6.43%) is water.

Select the Best Medical Assistant Training North Miami Beach FL

North Miami Beach FL medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is 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 appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Overview. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in North Miami Beach FL.

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