How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Patrick Afb Florida
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Patrick Afb FL, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean 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 issues also. You may want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Patrick Afb FL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Florida law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Courses
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Patrick Afb FL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some 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 offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Patrick Afb FL area medical 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 ideal option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Patrick Afb FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Patrick Afb FL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Patrick Afb FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Patrick Afb FL area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Patrick Afb medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Patrick Afb FL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Patrick Afb FL, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Patrick Afb Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Patrick Afb FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Patrick Air Force Base
Patrick Air Force Base (IATA: COF, ICAO: KCOF, FAA LID: COF) is a United States Air Force installation located between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, in Brevard County, Florida, in the United States. It was named in honor of Major General Mason Patrick, USAAC. An Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) base, it is home to the 45th Space Wing (45 SW). In addition to its "host wing" responsibilities at Patrick AFB, the 45 SW controls and operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and the Eastern Range. It was originally opened and operated from 1940 to 1947 as Naval Air Station Banana River, a U.S. Navy airfield. It was then deactivated as a naval installation in 1947 and placed in caretaker status until it was transferred to the Air Force in late 1948.
Additional tenant activities at Patrick AFB include the 920th Rescue Wing, the Air Force Technical Applications Center and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). Total employment is 10,400. There are 13,099 military, dependents, civilian employees and contractors on base.
The host wing for Patrick AFB is the 45th Space Wing (45 SW), whose Airmen manage all launches of unmanned rockets at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) 12 miles to the north. These rockets include satellites for the US military, to include the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as scientific payload launches in support of NASA, weather satellite launches in support of NOAA, payloads in support of international customers such as the European Space Agency, and commercial payloads for various corporate communications entities. Units and individuals from the 45 SW have deployed abroad during wartime, most notably during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Patrick Afb FL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Patrick Afb FL.
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