How to Become a Medical Assistant In South Florida

The healthcare industry is full of exciting career opportunities and new job openings popping up all across the country. For aspiring professionals seeking to work in the healthcare industry rather quickly, choosing to become a medical assistant may the best career option for you. If you would describe yourself as being a very organized and effective multi-tasker with a great personality, then it’s highly likely you will thrive as a professional medical assistant.

Making a Meaningful Impact on the Lives of Others

For medical assistants in South Florida, there is rarely ever a dull moment and plenty of variety in your job day-to-day job duties. Medical assistants are responsible for a wide range of tasks that includes both administrative and clinical work. Working in the healthcare industry can be stressful for some people and might even feel a bit chaotic, but for individuals who excel in a fast-paced environment and learn quickly, it can be incredibly rewarding. The healthcare profession serves all walks of life. The impact you are able to make in people’s lives can be quite powerful.

The Vital Need for Medical Assistants in Our Society

Across healthcare practices of all types, medical assistants are needed to support doctors, healthcare teams, and patients. Medical assistants interact with all types of individuals and work with a wide array of technologies and tools. Some of the main tasks medical assistants handle include:

  • Managing medical records, billings, & coding
  • Taking vital signs
  • Recording patient’s medical history
  • Drawing blood
  • Preparing examination rooms
  • Preparing patients for appointments
  • Running diagnostic tests

Medical assistants who specialize in particular areas of medicine may be responsible for other important jobs as well.

Work in the Area of Medicine that Most Interests You

In addition to the basic tasks medical assistants handle, qualified professionals can even specialize in a particular field of medicine. Clinical medical assisting jobs give you the opportunity to work alongside physicians and utilize some of the most cutting-edge technologies currently available. Some specific areas in which medical assistants can specialize include:

  • Ophthalmology
  • Podiatry
  • OB-GYN
  • Chiropractic

In ophthalmology, medical assistants oftentimes conduct eyes tests and work very closely with patients. In podiatry, medical assistants can make casts for feet, develop x-rays, and even assist with surgeries. Specializing in OB-GYN practice is ideal if you are passionate about women’s health while chiropractic care can be particularly rewarding for those interested in more holistic approaches to medicine.

Abounding Job Opportunities for Medical Assistants

As the medical industry continues to play a vital role in societies all around the world, career opportunities continue to expand at a rapid pace. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant jobs are expected to grow by 29% within the next 8 years. With an aging population and growing global population, there will always be a need for qualified professionals in the healthcare sector.

Taking Action to Become a Medical Assistant in South Florida

Getting hired to work as a medical assistant doesn’t require nearly as many years of higher education as some other healthcare occupations. A high-quality associate’s degree gets you started. Thus, the first step to becoming a medical assistant in South Florida is to enroll in a qualified, licensed program. At Florida National University (FNU), we offer many medical focused associate degrees, including:

However, for most aspiring professionals, the Medical Assistant Technology Associate of Science program is the best option for those interested in becoming a medical assistant. This program will prepare you to handle both administrative and clinical work in all types of healthcare institutions, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Medical labs
  • Diagnostic centers
  • Medical offices

The program will also prepare you for the intensive Certified Medical Assistant exam, the Registered Medical Assistant exam, and the National Certification exam of Phlebotomy.

Complete an Externship During Your Associate’s Program

After being accepted into a medical assistant associate’s program, the next step is to study hard to excel in all your courses and then complete an externship to gain experience in the field. At FNU, our Medical Assistant Technology Program requires all students to complete one before receiving their diploma. Externships are a wonderful way to gain real-world experience within a clinical setting. Throughout this experience, you will be able to ask professional medical assistants any questions you might have, further develop your skills, and make some valuable networking connections. You can only truly hone your skills and know what to do in difficult situations through extensive, first-hand experience.

The Final Step Before Working Is to Obtain Professional Certification

With an associate’s degree in hand, your last step before getting a job offer is to pass your professional certification exam. In certain cases, employers may not require you to possess one, but most prefer a certified applicant. Plus, if you seek employment elsewhere, not being certified may limit your job opportunities substantially. There are several certification exams out there, but at FNU, we recommend you take either the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam. Know that these tests may be quite challenging as you need to possess a thorough knowledge regarding a wide array of topics, but it is well worth the effort needed to pass the exam.

Get Started Pursuing a Career as a Medical Assistant in South Florida and Apply to FNU

As a well-known, licensed and regionally accredited institution, Florida National University can provide you with the fundamental knowledge and initial experience you need to excel in a career as a medical assistant. With our small class sizes and highly-educated faculty members, FNU is clearly committed to the success of all our students. If you would like to learn more about our associate’s degree in Medical Assistant Technology, the application process, and financial aid opportunities, don’t hesitate to contact us today.