Florida Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Florida offers good potential if you’re looking for a career in medical assisting. With a mixture of beautiful weather, recreation, and many tourist attractions, Florida has a consistent population to support healthcare growth. The average salary for medical assistants in Florida is around $33,000.
Several cities in Florida have bustling medical centers and healthcare facilities. The best Florida cities to work as a medical assistant include:
- Fort Lauderdale
Luckily there are many schools throughout Florida that offer the medical assistant program. Be sure to interview potential schools to find out more about their individual program. Be sure that the school you choose is properly accredited. Accreditation is essential for medical assisting students who wish to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam after graduation. The CMA exam may not be offered to non-accredited schools.
Florida Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Those who are in the medical assistant profession in the state of Florida are not formally required to hold national certifications. However, this doesn’t mean that all current and aspiring medical assistants shouldn’t seek to acquire the certifications available, since doing so can enhance one’s career prospects, earning potential, and upward mobility.
In the US, there are two widely recognized national certifications that are available to medical assistants:
- The first is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential which is administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- The second is the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification which is administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Option A: For those seeking to attain the AAMA’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, the following requirements must be satisfied in order to sit for the exam:
- Provide proof of having completed a medical assisting program which has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- Programs must be composed of both theoretical (in-class/online instruction) and clinical components which introduce students to administrative and clinical topics like:
- Human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, record keeping and accounting, computer competency, medication administration, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and medical law and ethics, among others.
- CMAs credentials are valid for a 60 month period, and can be renewed by completing a certain amount of continuing education hours or by passing a recertification exam
Option B: For those seeking to gain the AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential, ONE of the available path’s requirements must be met in order to sit for the exam:
- Path I: Completion of a traditional, college-level medical assistant program which has:
- At least 720 hours of in-class/online theoretical instruction and 160 hours of a clinical externship where students gain hands-on experience with real patients
- The program must have a regional or national accreditation which has been approved by either by US Department of Education, the AMT Board of Directors, or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- Path II: Completion of a medical assistant program in the US Armed Forces which has:
- No less than 720 hours of theoretical instruction and 160 hours of hands-on clinical experience at a local healthcare facility or doctor’s office
- Path III: Work experience in the field
- Have no less than five years of full-time work experience in the profession, performing crucial clinical and administrative functions
- Path IV: Experience as a medical assistant program instructor
- Have at least five years of experience working as a medical assistant program instructor OR have more than one year working as a medical assistant program instructor and three years of experience working in the profession itself
List of Florida Medical Assisting Programs
1. Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology
Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology offers a diploma in medical assisting. With convenient locations throughout Florida, this program may be completed in about 45 weeks. Students receive a combination of clinical and administrative skills and must complete a 220-hour externship. Graduates are eligible to take certification exams.
2. Orange Technical College
Orange Technical College offers a certificate in medical assisting. The school is located in Winter Park, Florida and the program offers a combination of online and in-classroom training. Graduates are eligible to take certification exams upon program completion.
3. Ultimate Medical Academy
Ultimate Medical Academy offers a diploma in medical assisting which can be completed in about 16 months. The program combines clinical and administrative skills and an externship is required for graduation. Students are eligible for certification exams upon graduation. UMA has campus locations in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida.
4. Southern Technical College
Southern Technical College has campuses throughout Florida, including Fort Myers, Port Charlotte and Tampa. The college offers both a certificate of medical assisting and an Associate’s degree. Students learn fundamental clinical and administrative skills and must complete a supervised externship. The program is accredited, and graduates may sit for certification exams.
5. Sheridan Technical College
Located in Hollywood, Florida, Sheridan Tech offers a diploma in medical assisting. Students take a combination of online and in-class courses. Foundation courses, taken mostly in the first semester, are completed online. Clinical skills training must be completed in the classroom. A clinical externship is required, and graduates may take certification exams.
6. Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College offers a post-secondary adult vocational certificate in medical assisting. They offer a 13-month program that does not require prerequisites for program admission. Instead, students combine basic courses with core clinical and administrative classes. Students may sit for the CMA certification exam upon graduation.
7. First Coast Technical College
Located in St. Augustine, Florida, First Coast Technical College offers a certificate in medical assisting. Students learn standard basic and core skills in clinical health and administration. This program utilizes a combination of online and in-class instruction. Students may take certification exams upon graduation.
8. Daytona State College
Daytona State College is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. The College offers a certificate in medical assisting. The school states that their program is limited to a few students each year and the program adheres to high professional standards. Students must qualify for admission by taking pre-entrance exams and completing a pre-requisite course. Graduates may take certification exams.
9. Indian River State College
Indian River State College offers a certificate in medical assisting at their Fort Pierce, Florida campus. This program combines clinical and administrative skills and allows students to become certified in basic radiology, phlebotomy, and electrocardiography. The program takes about 9 months full-time or 18 months part-time. Graduates may also take the CMA certification exam.
10. Lively Technical College
Lively Technical College offers a certificate in medical assisting at its Tallahassee, Florida campus. Students are required to take placement testing prior to admission to the program. Once admitted to the medical assisting course, students learn a combination of clinical and administrative skills, while also learning about public and community health issues. Students may take certification exams upon graduation.
11. Eastern Florida State College
Located in Cocoa, Florida, Eastern Florida State College offers a certificate in medical assisting. Students have a clinical-focused education with instruction in clinical practice, electrocardiography, and pharmacology and medication administration. Front office instruction includes medical billing and medical records. Brevard allows entrance to the program three times per year and graduates are eligible to take the CMA exam.
12. Keiser University
Keiser University offers a 60 credit-hour Medical Assisting Associate of Science (AS) degree program. The program is available at their Fort Lauderdale campus as well as the Fort Lauderdale Online Division, and at the Fort Myers, Lakeland, and Naples campuses. The program seeks to prepare students to perform a wide variety of clinical duties such as giving injections, taking patient histories, performing electrocardiograms, and much more. After successful completion of the program, students will be well prepared to take and pass the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credentialing examination administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
13. Atlantic Technical College
Atlantic Technical College offers students a 12-month medical assistant program at its campus in Coconut Creek. The 1300 clock-hour program which meets Monday through Friday from 7:05am to 1:50pm is designed to train students to effectively carry out both clerical and clinical procedures within the setting of a doctor’s office. The program is composed of courses like infection control methods, x-ray procedures, medical terminology, and more. In addition to the in-class lecture/didactic portion of the course there’s a 200-hour hands-on clinical experience practicum.
14. Erwin Technical College
Erwin Technical College offers students a 15-month medical assistant certificate program at its campus in Tampa Bay. The 1300 clock-hour program consists of two sections – didactic and practical training. Courses are held from Monday to Friday from 8am to 2pm. After successful completion of the didactic portion of the program, students are required to complete a 200-hour externship (practical training portion) at a doctor’s office or in some other healthcare setting. In total, the program costs roughly $4,396.
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