How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training School near Oldsmar Florida
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Oldsmar FL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate 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 factors as well. You may decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is to make sure that the Oldsmar FL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. 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 responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform 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 Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Oldsmar 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 two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Oldsmar FL area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Oldsmar FL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Oldsmar FL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Oldsmar FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Oldsmar FL area medical providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Oldsmar medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Oldsmar FL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oldsmar FL, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, 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 Oldsmar Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Oldsmar FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Oldsmar is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 13,591. The Oldsmar name dates to April 12, 1916 when automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds purchased 37,541 acres (151.92 km2) of land by the northern part of Tampa Bay to establish "R. E. Olds-on-the-Bay". The name was later changed to Oldsmar, then to "Tampa Shores" in 1927, and finally back to Oldsmar in 1937. Ransom Olds named some of the original streets himself, such as Gim Gong Road for Lue Gim Gong.
Oldsmar includes several parks along Tampa Bay, historic bungalows, a downtown, and a commercial area along West Hillsborough Avenue. The historical society operates a museum in Oldsmar, and the city erected a new library in 2013.
In hopes of returning to the days of "Old Florida", Oldsmar's downtown is currently undergoing redevelopment efforts. Oldsmar celebrates its history every year with Oldsmar Days and Nights, including parades, car shows (featuring the Oldsmobile), and carnival rides. Notable Oldsmar businesses include the nearby Tampa Bay Downs and the production office of Nielsen Media Research.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Oldsmar FL
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays 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 an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Oldsmar FL.
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