According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), Florida’s employment per 1,000 jobs statistic is higher than any other state except California at 5.24., making it one of the best states to find a job as a medical assistant.
Once you earn your degree and obtain a position, you can make a good living as a Florida medical assistant. According to 2013 data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage is $13.76. Gainesville, Florida is ranked in the top five metropolitan areas for employment of medical assistants, but cities across the state offer many options for employment.
Once you are a medical assistant, you can apply for jobs in private doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and community health centers. Working alongside other healthcare professionals, you will find that your skills and training can help you provide medical services to Florida residents who need them.
Medical Assistants are responsible for carrying out administrative and/or clerical tasks which keep the day-to-day processes in a health care setting operating smoothly. The settings they work in can be doctors' offices, medical centers, clinics, or other health care venues. The assistant's specific duties vary depending on the size, location, or specialty of the setting. In smaller settings, medical assistants tend to perform a wide variety of tasks, handling both clerical and clinical duties. Those in larger settings are more inclined to specialize in a particular area, often under the supervision of a department administrator. Medical assistants greet patients, update their medical records, fill out insurance forms, arrange for laboratory services, answer telephones, schedule appointments, check office and lab supplies, and coordinate billing and bookkeeping. They also perform clinical duties such as recording vital signs, collecting laboratory specimens, sterilizing equipment, preparing patients for examinations, and at times performing basic laboratory tests.
Some medical assistants specialize in a specific area and have additional duties associated with the specific specialty suach as examples below:
- Podiatric Medical Assistants assist podiatrists in surgery. They also make castings of feet and expose and develop foot x-rays.
- Ophthalmic Medical Assistants assist ophthalmologists in providing eye care. They conduct tests, measure and record vision, apply eye dressings, and show patients how to use contact lenses. They also assist the ophthalmologist in surgery and administer eye medications under the supervision and direction of the physician.
- Optometric Assistants work directly with optometrists in a similar fashion. They conduct preliminary tests on patients and instruct them about various aspects of eye care.
Medical Office Assistant Responsibilities
Within the confines of a particular medical office or health care setting, a medical assistant will typically perform a variety of tasks, all of them to support a physician or medical staff in the treatment of patients. Responsibilities usually involve some combination of administrative, clerical, and clinical tasks. Generally speaking, their duties fall under the job description of keeping the office running smoothly. A partial list of typical duties of a medical assistant would include the following:
- Conducting routine lab tests
- Recording vital signs
- Giving shots and medication
- Greeting and admitting patients
- Instructing patients about medication and self-treatment
- Preparing rooms for patient examination
- Sterilizing and preparing equipment
- Removing sutures and changing dressings
- Checking office and lab supplies
- Making appointments
- Completing insurance forms
- Recording patients' medical histories and test results
- Interviewing patients to obtain medical information
- Contacting medical facilities to schedule tests for patients
- Arranging for hospital admissions
- Showing patients to examination rooms and preparing them to be seen by the physician
- Updating patients' medical records
- Answering office telephones
- Handling office correspondence
- Telephoning prescriptions to a pharmacy
Medical Assistant Education in Florida
If medical assisting is the career for you, Florida offers over 40 schools to choose from, including many accredited programs. The state medical assistant association, the Florida Society of Medical Assistants offers student memberships, encourages student involvement, and provides a listing of accredited programs as well.
As you look at medical assistant schools in Florida, keep in mind that you have several different options for study. There are many roles that you can fill as a medical assistant. Florida offers a wide variety of options to become a medical assistant including both diploma and degree programs. Whether you prefer hands on patient care or an administrative role, you can find a school that has the program you want.
Most medical assistant programs in Florida require a background check, CPR certification and a high school diploma or GED to enroll. You will be taking courses that teach you about the human body, the healthcare system, as well as medical and administrative procedures. Typical classes in a medical assisting program include Anatomy and Physiology, medical billing and coding, medical terminology, and patient assessment, among others.Depending upon the type of program you choose, you can plan to spend anywhere from 1 to 4 years completing your education.
Medical Assistant Program in Florida
Medical Institute of Palm Beach Inc is an accredited school offering day and evening classes for medical assistants. PleaseContact Us to get details about the program and enroll to start your medical assistant career.