How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Silver Springs Florida
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Silver Springs FL, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Silver Springs FL clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions 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 specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Silver Springs FL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Silver Springs FL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Silver Springs FL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps 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 examination, 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.
Concerns 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 want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Silver Springs FL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Silver Springs FL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Silver Springs FL area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Silver Springs medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Silver Springs 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 a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Silver Springs FL, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Silver Springs Florida?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Silver Springs FL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Silver Springs, Florida
Silver Springs is an unincorporated community in Marion County, Florida, United States. It is the site of Silver Springs, a group of artesian springs and a historic tourist attraction that is now part of Silver Springs State Park. The community is part of the Ocala metropolitan area.
One of Florida's first tourist attractions, the springs drew visitors even before the U.S. Civil War. Glass-bottom boats have been a popular way to see the 242-acre (98 ha) complex. A small amusement park with various animals, a concert stage, a carousel, and exhibits also developed.
Since the mid-19th century, the natural environment of Silver Springs has attracted visitors from throughout the United States. Glass-bottom boat tours of the springs began in the late 1870s. In the 1920s, W. Carl Ray and W.M. "Shorty" Davidson, after leasing the land from Ed Carmichael (upon whose death the springs were left to the University of Florida), developed the land around the headwaters of the Silver River into an attraction that eventually became known as Silver Springs Nature Theme Park. The attraction featured native animal exhibits, amusement rides, and 30 or 90-minute glass-bottom boat tours of the springs. The 1934 'Princess Donna' is the oldest and only remaining operational boat from this by gone era. The "Princess Donna' currently operates on the Homosassa River in Old Homosassa Florida. In 2013, the State of Florida took over operations of Silver Springs and combined it with the adjacent Silver River State Park to form the new Silver Springs State Park. The T. W. Randall House on the National Register of Historic Places is located to the northeast.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Silver Springs FL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering 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 decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accredited Medical Assistant Programs. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Silver Springs FL.
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