Florida Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Florida offers good potential if you’re looking for a career in medical assisting. With beautiful weather, recreation, and many tourist attractions, Florida has a consistent population to support healthcare growth. The median 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 many schools throughout Florida offer the medical assistant program. Be sure to interview potential schools to find out more about their 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, two widely recognized national certifications 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 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 to sit for the exam:
- Provide proof of having completed a medical assisting program that 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, medical law, and ethics.
- 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 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 that 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. This program may be completed in about 45 weeks with convenient locations throughout Florida. 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 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 15 months. The program combines clinical and administrative skills; an externship is required for graduation. Students are eligible for certification exams upon graduation. UMA has a campus in Clearwater, Florida.
4. Southern Technical College
Southern Technical College has campuses throughout Florida, including Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, and Tampa. The college offers a medical assisting certificate 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
Sheridan Tech is located in Hollywood, Florida, and 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 its program is limited to a few students each year and adheres to high professional standards. Students must be admitted 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 nine 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 before admission to the program. Once admitted to the medical assisting course, students learn clinical and administrative skills while 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, pharmacology, and medication administration. Front office instruction includes medical billing and medical records. Brevard allows entrance to the program three times yearly, 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, the Fort Lauderdale Online Division, and the Fort Myers, Lakeland, and Naples campuses. The program seeks to prepare students to perform various clinical duties such as giving injections, taking patient histories, performing electrocardiograms, and much more. After completing 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 7:05 am to 1:50 pm, is designed to train students to effectively carry out both clerical and clinical procedures within the setting of a doctor’s office. The program comprises courses like infection control methods, x-ray procedures, medical terminology, and more. In addition to the course’s in-class lecture/didactic portion, 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 8 am to 2 pm. After successfully completing the didactic portion of the program, students must 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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