the fact that many young people decide to try their luck by entering the medical field because high school diploma is enough requirement for getting the job, they do not realize that the medical assistant job itself requires a combination of formal education and hands-on training before entering the clinic.
So, a young person who has finished secondary education and is interested in medical science should first ask himself/herself whether he/she is well-organized person full of knowledge of medical terms and procedures who possess a constant will to advance and improve the abilities and knowledge related to medical science before deciding to get involved into this responsible occupation.
Article Table of Contents
Medical assistants are people who we encounter first when entering a medical facility.
They are those who take vital signs, give first aid and prepare the patient for further examination.
Depending on the working hour of the facility they work for, medical assistants might work part-time, full-time, night shifts and weekends and are often responsible for several things at once.
The Personal characteristics that a medical assistant needs to possess are the readiness to work with patients and other medical staff, communication, patience, and calmness.
Those who deal with administrative duties need to be well organized and detail-oriented.
All in all, a medical assistant needs to be eager to constantly learn and advance in the medical field.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Florida
Those who want to earn certification and get involved more deeply into the job must have some level of formal education to do so.
The law in Florida does not require specialized education and training, but the employers are unwilling to hire applicants without formal education and training.
There are numerous medical assistant programs both in Florida and throughout the USA.
These include 617 programs accredited by CAAHEP and 358 programs accredited by ABHES while the Committee on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel accredited an additional 19 programs.
The approved and accredited certification programs are designed to help students get acquainted with the first aid, laboratory techniques, medical terminology, physiology, and record-keeping, etc.
When it comes to requirements for becoming a medical assistant in Florida, a high school diploma is the only prerequisite.
That is why many high school students take classes in anatomy, biology, and chemistry to get acquainted with the basics.
Later on, they get on-the-job training from an experienced member of the office staff.
However, the office practices are becoming more demanding and require the knowledge related to medical vocabulary and methods of dealing with patients, maintenance of electronic records, as well as practical experience.
So, they enter some of the accredited postsecondary medical assisting programs where they can get a diploma or certificate in a year or so, and learn how to collect medical specimens, measure patients’ vital signs, and do laboratory testing.
Accreditation of the program is important since the organizations which offer certification examination do not accept the medical assistants who have finished an unaccredited program.
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in:
- Winter Park
- Lake Worth
- Naples Tallahassee
- Daytona Beach
- Fort Pierce
- St Augustine
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) in:
- Boca Raton
- Pembroke Pines
- Altamonte Springs
- Fort Lauderdale
- Pompano Beach
- Fort Myers
- Port Charlotte
- Miami Gardens
- West Palm Beach
- New Port Richey
- Orange Park
- Spring Hill
- Fern Park
- Port St Lucie
- St Petersburg
- Delray Beach
Also, medical assistant student internships in Florida include:
- Pulmonary Associates of St. Augustine – St. Augustine
- Titan Medical Center – Tampa
- Cleveland Clinic- Weston
- BayCare Health – Tampa
- Shands Healthcare – Gainesville
- Treasure Coast Urgent and Family Care – Stuart
- The Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida – Safety Harbor
- Women’s Care Florida- Winter Park
- Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center – Palm Beach Gardens
- Bayfront Health System-St Petersburg.
Getting a Job
The demand for healthcare in the United States is rising thus improving the chances of finding suitable employment.
The need for medical assistants will be growing in the future as the aging population will require more medical care in years to come.
The number of doctor’s offices will need a support staff to handle both clinical and administrative duties and that is where medical assistants might look for a job.
All the applicants have equal chances, but who will be chosen depends only on the doctor and his/her staff.
Certified candidates are always given priority since a higher amount of work increases the need for self-confident medical assistants able to immediately start working.
Regarding the fact that the medical assistant profession is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing occupations in the state, the salary of medical assistants is expected to rise.
Medical assistants can greatly improve their earning potentials by getting experience and education before entering the field.
According to the Florida Department of Education, medical assistants employed across the state are earning an average annual salary of $ 31 620.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Florida annually since it significantly varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|Port Saint Lucie,FL||$32,481|
|West Palm Beach,FL||$33,905|
The possible duties of a medical assistant are versatile since in one facility he/she may be asked to administer diagnostic tests and prepare patients for procedures while in the other just to help taking medical history during a conversation with the patient.
This kind of difference in duties may come from the variance in education and experience.
Those less educated medical assistants who are not so eager to advance their knowledge might be performing only administrative duties such as:
- Answering telephone calls and cooperating with other related medical facilities
- Greeting patients and collecting the data about their health
- Keeping patient medical records and history
- Scheduling appointments and surgeries
- Dealing with billing and bookkeeping.
On the other hand, those who possess knowledge related to medical science and are willing to learn even more are asked to do the clinical duties, including:
- Preparing patients for examination or surgery
- Assisting the doctor during both the examination and intervention
- Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
- Doing laboratory tests
- Drawing blood, etc.