If you live in South Florida, and have been contemplating pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, but are undecided about which career path to pursue, you can always enroll in Florida National University’s (FNU) Medical Assistant diploma program.
The Medical Assistant
Earning a diploma as a Medical Assistant prepares you to enroll in any higher-level medical educational program, as it offers the most basic academic requirements necessary to work in the healthcare sector. Students will acquire the skills and knowledge needed to perform in clinical and administrative settings whether it’s in a hospital, medical lab, diagnostic center or private practice. Upon successful completion of this academic program, you’ll also be prepared to manage front and back office procedures.
Addressing the Language Barrier
In South Florida, you will find a rich fusion of cultural diversity and with it, different languages. For most South Florida residents, Spanish is the second-most preferred language spoken—English being the first. While many immigrants who move to South Florida assimilate the American culture, not everyone may be 100% comfortable speaking the English language. As a result, this might intimidate some prospective students into pursuing an English-speaking career.
FNU’s Medical Assistant program is taught in a bilingual modality offering students who may not fully understand English the opportunity to earn their degree through Spanish-speaking courses. Classes under this program are taught in English and Spanish simultaneously, helping students understand the course while strengthening their bilingual skills. FNU also offers its English as a Second Language lab with an interactive program to its students. This valuable feature is inclusive to students who enroll in the Medical Assistant program.
What Kind of Courses are Offered?
A total of 36 credit hours is needed to complete this program. The bulk of these courses are in medical education administration while the rest focus on the basics that introduce you to Information Technology, Anatomy and Physiology, and most importantly medical terminology in order to provide a better idea of how patient care procedures work.
In addition to completing the required courses, students must also complete 45 hours of clinical experience before graduating with their diploma. Medical Assistants are expected to be fully prepared to execute, maintain, and manage all tasks that are within the scope of their professional responsibilities. In order to do this accurately and efficiently, it’s crucial for students to have hands on training that is under the direct supervision of a professional. You can speak to your FNU academic advisor to arrange your clinical hours.
Hourly Demands of Healthcare Professionals
One of the great benefits of working in the healthcare industry is having the option of flexible hours. It’s a 24-hours on-going service that is in constant demand. So while the 9 to 5 shift is a reality for most healthcare professionals—particularly administrators, for clinical personnel the work shift will cycle around the clock. Some of the larger healthcare facilities like hospitals or urgent care centers might have shifts like: 8am – 4pm; 3pm – 11am; and 11am – 8am, roughly.
Dress for Success
Another way our program prepares students to become a professional Medical Assistant is through our required dress code. We believe in doing everything we can to help students transition seamlessly from a medical student to a professional healthcare worker. That’s why we require students to dress the part by wearing uniforms or scrubs at all times. Some of the courses like Examining Room Procedure and Medical Lab Procedure I and II will require this type of attire. Even with the administrative courses, you’ll be surrounded in a learning environment that will mimic the professional one that you’re striving to work in.
More about the Medical Assistant Program
You won’t have to spend a long time completing this medical program. Students can complete this program in approximately 16 months. That means if you start classes now, you could be a working professional Medical Assistant in only a year and half from now! Tuition is affordable at $23,625 with books and supplies costing $1,800. Thanks to FNU’s financial aid department, this program can be affordable to you. Through Federal and private loans—and even institutional financing options, you can start classes this fall if you choose.
Other Benefits to Earning a Medical Assistant Diploma
Once you earn your Medical Assistant diploma, you’ll also have the opportunity to apply for the American Registry for Medical Assistant (ARMA). The ARMA is a non-profit organization that is nationally registered with the Federal government in Washington DC. This organization includes a list of medical healthcare workers whose purpose is “to advance the status and professionalism of the Medical Assistant.” It’s a great networking tool and shows your potential employer that you are taking an initiative to continually improve your skillset.
To learn more about the ARMA registration requirements and other ways you can benefit from being a member, visit their official website here.
Start Taking Medical Courses Today!
By the time you complete this program, you may want to dive right into the healthcare industry to see what kind of career options are available to you. You might also discover which part of the healthcare industry you’d like to pursue. If the latter is the case, your Medical Assistant Diploma will have already helped you get started on an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the healthcare industry.
FNU offers degree programs in Medical Assistant Technology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy and more. To learn about other programs FNU offers, view our online curriculum. We have three campuses in the South Florida area, plus a training center.
Jumpstart your career in South Florida and begin the enrollment process. Contact our admissions department to start classes as a Medical Assistant today.