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Pros and Cons of Becoming a Medical Assistant

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Medical Assistant

We all dream of landing a job that we love. A career where we can do what we want and excel at the same time. But the sad truth is, many people are stuck with a job that they don’t particularly love or even like. Even though we love our work, it can still have its advantages and disadvantages. It all boils down to how we cope with it and how we face it.

Medical Assistant Career Information - Greater West Palm Beach Area

Medical Assistant Career Information - Greater West Palm Beach Area

Whether you are just browsing or looking to change careers soon, there are FREE government resources that can help you make a more data-driven decision. In this article, we highlight West Palm Beach's medical assistant career statistics and showcase the government tool where the information was found.

3 Uncommon Reasons To Become A Medical Assistant

3 Uncommon Reasons To Become A Medical Assistant

We all know that becoming a certified medical assistant will lead to a promising career in an industry that is projected to keep growing above the national average for most other industries, but becoming a medical assistant is more than just statistics and a steady paycheck. It is so much more.  

Ace Your Medical Assistant Interview

Ace Your Medical Assistant Interview

Getting invited to interview is just the first step to getting your dream job. A great interview will almost surely land you the job, while a few less-than-perfect answers may result in a missed opportunity.

Bilingual Medical Assistants and HHA Workers Are In Demand

Today, as immigration increases and with the nursing shortage in full swing, the demand for bilingual healthcare workers is growing. The greatest need appears to be for Spanish-speaking nurses.

According to the 2008 National Sample of Registered Nurses, only 3.6 percent of all US registered nurses identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino. While a higher percentage of nurses may be Spanish-speaking, non-Hispanics/Latinos may not be aware of cultural differences. Anita Holt, RN, MSN, and a professor of human services at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, cites several reasons Hispanics/Latinos may not consider a career in nursing, including limited knowledge of opportunities and lack of fluency in English.

Why Bilingualism Is Important

Holt says bilingualism is critical -- not just in nursing, but throughout the healthcare system. "Patients feel more comfortable if they can talk to someone who understands their language, as well as the beliefs and values of their culture," she says. "For example, it is important for a hospital patient to not only have his wife and children at his bedside, but also his compadres and comadres, his tios and tias. If the nurse, lab technician or doctor does not understand the concept of familia, the integrity of his care could be compromised.

Sam Romero, founder and president of a Massachusetts-based healthcare recruiter specializing in bilingual and bicultural professionals, agrees. "Physicians' assistants, nurses' aides, orderlies, mental health technicians, food service personnel, people who work in nursing homes -- anyone who understands a different culture and service can make a healthcare organization more efficient and effective," he says. "That understanding helps the organization, too, by cutting down errors, slashing turnover and serving broader populations."

It's the Law

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandates that every organization receiving federal money employ bilingual staff. "That's particularly important in the emergency room, where people use medical terminology," Romero says. "People are discussing delicate, sensitive matters, so you shouldn't have a 10-year-old boy interpreting for an OB/GYN. But it happens. I've seen a housekeeper called in, and she told the patient something the doctor wasn't saying. It's much better for a doctor or nurse to provide information." Source

Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and HHA Programs with Bilingual Instruction

South Florida is a good place to be if you know more than one language. There is a bigger demand for workers who speak more than one language. Being bilingual is certainly an advantage. You can increase your chances of being gainfully employed if choose a profession that is currently in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants are in high demand, and that demand is expected to keep growing (source bls.gov). These talented professionals are the backbone of medical facilities across the country. They work hard to ensure the business side of a medical practice runs smoothly, and that patients receive the best possible care.

There are many reasons to enter this great profession including a relatively short training period, great working hours, a professional environment, and a nice salary. Those looking for a good career that will provide a decent living may find medical assisting to be the perfect job.

There are close to 400 schools in the US that offer Diploma and Certificate programs in Medical Assisting and or Pharmacy Technician programs. Each program is designed to prepare students for the medical field program of their choice and provides an industry setting to get your experience.

As with most things, the more qualifications and the more experience you have the more competitive you can be in your profession and therefore potential to earn more money. To get your foot in at the entry level, you can earn a medical assisting diploma also called a medical assisting certificate. You don't earn a degree, but you do get the credentials that can get you started.

Medical Institute of Palm Beach Inc. in Lake Worth FL is offering Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and HHA programs during the day and evening time with bilingual instruction available. Contact Us to get details about each program and how you can enroll.

Medical Assistant Career in Florida

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.  

Trade Schools with Diploma Programs

Vocational or trade schools train students for a variety of skilled jobs, including jobs as automotive technicians, medical assistants, hair stylists, pharmacy technicians, electronics technicians, paralegals, and truck drivers. Some schools also help students identify prospective employers and apply for jobs.

Is a Vocational School Right For You?

To decide whether a career school is right for you, consider whether you need more training for the job you want. Each job comes with description. Research each job’s requirements to find out if it is possible to learn the skills you need on the job. Look at ads for positions that you're interested in. Then call the employers to learn what kinds of training and experience will be meaningful, and whether they recommend any particular programs.

Diploma Programs from 6 to 9 Months

Diploma Programs are faced paced and require serious commitment from students interested in learning the trade fast and entering the professional job market. For convenience, trade schools offer day and evening classes to accommodate students with jobs and busy schedules.

Finding a diploma program in your area requires due diligence. Do your research before you commit to a program. You want to make sure the program you enroll in is reputable and trustworthy. What are others factors you have to look for:

License and Accreditation

Ask for names and phone numbers of the school's licensing and accrediting organizations, and check with them to see whether the school is up-to-date.

Licensing is handled by state agencies. In many states, private vocational schools are licensed through the state Department of Education. Ask the school which state agency handles its licensing.

Accreditation usually is through a private education agency or association that has evaluated the program and verified that it meets certain requirements. Accreditation can be an important clue to a school's ability to provide appropriate training and education — if the accrediting body is reputable. Your high-school guidance counselor, principal, or teachers, or someone working in the field you're interested in, may be able to tell you which accrediting bodies have worthy standards.

School Facilities

A practical way to learn about school’s facilities is to visit the school. Schedule a tour to visit in person and ask to see the classrooms and workshops. Also, ask about the types of equipment — like computers and tools — that students use for training. If you are studying to be a Massage Therapist ensure that the schools offers massage tables that are currently used in massage spas and salons.

Student Services and Assistance

Prior to registering, ask your career advisor what supplies, books and tools that you must buy. If you need help overcoming language barriers or learning disabilities, find out if the school provides help, and at what cost? Some schools may offer bilingual instruction, ask about it when you schedulea tour.

Faculty and Instructors

Ask about the instructors' qualifications and the size of classes. Sit in on a class to observe whether the students are engaged and the teacher is interesting. Talk to other students about their experience.

Diploma Program Success Rate

Before you invest your time and money in the diploma program, learn about the success rate pf past students. Ask your career advisor the following questions:

What percentage of students complete the program? A high dropout rate could mean students don't like the program.
Is job placement offered? How many graduates find jobs in their chosen field?
Can you get a list of recent graduates to ask about their experiences with the school?

Financial Aid Department

Most schools offering diploma programs have Financial Aid staff on premises. Talk to Financial Aid advisor and learn what assistance may be available to you to cover tuition cost.

Diploma Programs in Florida

There are a few accredited schools in Florida offering diploma programs for medical assistants, pharmacy technicians and massage therapists. Find a school in your zip code.

Medical Institute of Palm Beach Inc. invites you to take a tour and learn about diploma programs offered in convenient day and evening classes. Contact Us today.

Medical Assistant Career Training in Florida

If you are interested in Allied Health Profession such as medical assistant, it is good to know that there is a high demand for medical assistants. According to BLS.gov employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

What Do Medical Assistants Do

Medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

As a medical assistant, you could have the opportunity to work directly with patients and assist with their care and well-being. If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in this rewarding field, enrolling into medical assistant program can help you gain the relevant experience and skills to become a qualified candidate. Most post-secondary schools and trade schools in Florida strive to prepare students with the necessary clinical and administrative knowledge to seek various entry-level positions as medical assistants. 

What To Look for in a Medical Assistant Program

When you are researching a medical institute or school offering medical assistant program, review the school catalog and inquire about their curriculum. Choose a medical school that offers a comprehensive curriculum and is combined with hands-on training on equipment actually used in a medical setting. The medical assistant program courses are intended to train you to perform specific duties such as assisting the supervising physician with administering injections, taking vital signs, recording EKGs, assisting in minor surgical procedures, carrying out basic accounting procedures, and understanding the fundamentals of charting and documentation. Look for school that offer externship programs to enhance your career-based experience so you are able to complete a practicum that enables you to apply classroom learning in a real-world medical setting.

Medical Assistant Diploma or Degree

The decision whether you want to earn a degree or just a diploma depends on your goals. To get a job and start earning money as medical assistant is a short term goal and diploma is the best route. If you are interested in  earning a bachelor's degree and have ambitions to be more competitive and have more responsibility and demands, it makes sense to pursue a degree. When deciding which medical school to attend, there are a few factors to consider. Many schools allow you to transfer credits from your diploma program to an associate degree program or even a bachelor's degree program. If you aren't sure what you want in the future, this feature gives you some flexibility. Accreditation plays an important part so look for schools that are accredited so you get good investment for your money. Don't just look at claims of accreditation, look at what organizations are doing the accrediting and compare the quality of accreditations between schools. Another good sign is to see if the school is qualified to receive Title IV student loans from the U.S. government. Lastly, look at things like graduation rates, job placement rates and numbers of students going on to higher education. An institution that can't provide these numbers is an institution to avoid.

Medical Institute of Palm Beach prepares you for a Medical Assistant Career and offers training that is available in day and night classes. Bilingual class instruction is also available.

Contact Us to get information on how you can enroll into Florida medical assistant program today.