Sponsored School Search


How to Become a Medical Assistant in Florida

Follow these steps to become highly qualified for medical assistant jobs in Florida:

Complete a Florida Medical Assistant Education Program
Pass a Certification Examination
Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credential

Florida had the third highest employment level for medical assistants in the county as of 2013. That year, there were 39,030 medical assistants working across the state. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity expects that the number of jobs for medical assistants in the state will increase by 22.4 percent between 2013 and 2021.

Florida state statutes clearly define the duties medical assistants are allowed to perform. Under the guidance, direct supervision and responsibility of a licensed physician, a Florida medial assistant may:

  • Perform dialysis procedures (includes home dialysis)
  • Perform office and administrative duties and procedures
  • Perform basic laboratory procedures
  • Administer medication as a physician directs him or her to do
  • Collect routine laboratory specimens as a physician directs him or her to do
  • Operate office medical equipment
  • Assist with patient treatments
  • Assist with patient examinations
  • Observe and report patient signs and symptoms
  • Perform venipunctures and nonintravenous injections
  • Prepare patients for a physician’s care
  • Take vital signs
  • Perform aseptic procedures

Medical assistants in Florida need not receive specialized education and training under the law. However, employers are reluctant to hire candidates without formal education and training.

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Florida Medical Assistant Education Program

It is helpful to attend a medical assistant program that is accredited by one of two major accreditation bureaus listed below, especially if you intend to pursue national certification. Luckily, there is no shortage of these accredited medical assistant education programs located in the state.

Florida cities in which accredited medical assistant programs are located are listed under each accreditation body:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):
    • Winter Park
    • Miami
    • Pensacola
    • Lake Worth
    • Davie
    • Bradenton
    • Naples Tallahassee
    • Eustis
    • Daytona Beach
    • Fort Pierce
    • Mulberry
    • St Augustine
    • Tampa
    • Orlando
    • Melbourne
    • Lakeland
    • Ocala

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES):
    • Sebring
    • Boca Raton
    • Tampa
    • Pembroke Pines
    • Kissimmee
    • Brandon
    • Altamonte Springs
    • Jacksonville
    • Pensacola
    • Miami
    • Fort Lauderdale
    • Pompano Beach
    • Naples
    • Fort Myers
    • Port Charlotte
    • Miami Gardens
    • Orlando
    • Lakeland
    • Deland
    • West Palm Beach
    • Ocala
    • New Port Richey
    • Orange Park
    • Spring Hill
    • Fern Park
    • Port St Lucie
    • St Petersburg
    • Delray Beach

Courses that you will take in a medical assistant program and skills/competencies you will learn include:

  • Therapeutic care
  • Endocrinology/reproduction
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary procedures
  • Medical insurance
  • Health sciences
  • Clinical assisting
  • Pharmacology
  • Patient care
  • Communication

You must also partake of a field experience working in a medical assistant capacity alongside trained medical professionals. This will give you a chance to use the skills you have learned in your medical assistant program. Examples of possible placements for 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

The end result of your medical assistant program may be a certificate, diploma or degree that may include:

  • Diploma in Medical Assisting
  • Diploma in Medical Assistant Technician
  • Diploma in Medical Assistant with Basic X-Ray
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
  • Associate of Science in Health Sciences – Medical Assistant
  • Associate of Occupational Science in Medical Professional – Concentration in Medical Assisting

 


 

Step 2. Pass a Certification Examination

Although national certification is not required to become a medical assistant in Florida, most employers seek certified candidates for the medical assistant jobs they wish to fill.

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This credential is earned by passing the CMA Certification/Recertification Exam, given at Prometric test centers. In Florida, these are located in:

  • Jacksonville
  • Gainesville
  • Miami
  • Boca Raton
  • West Palm Beach
  • Fort Myers
  • Maitland
  • Sarasota
  • Tampa
  • Temple Terrace

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) of the American Medical Technologists (AMT). This credential is earned by passing the RMA Certification Exam. It is given at Pearson Vue test centers, which are located in these Florida cities:

  • Altamonte Springs
  • Orlando
  • Tampa
  • Sarasota
  • Avon Park
  • Ocala
  • Naples
  • Port St Lucie
  • Fort Myers
  • St Petersburg

 


 

Step 3. Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credential

Congratulations! Your hard work and training has paid off, and you are now a medical assistant in Florida!

If you are a CMA, you must renew your credential every 60 months. This involves paying a recertification fee and either taking your examination again, or participating in continuing education. If you choose the continuing education route, you must accrue 60 recertification points in five years, with 30 of these points from AAMA-approved continuing education units (CEUs).

If you are an RMA, you must renew your credential every year. Continuing education that complies with AMT’s Certification Continuation Program (CCP) is also part of maintaining your RMA credential, as is the payment of an annual fee.

Professional Organizations for Medical Assistants in Florida

As an RMA in Florida, you may wish to join the Florida State Society of American Medical Technologists. This group can help you to network, find continuing education opportunities, and grow professionally as a Florida medical assistant.

If you are a Florida CMA, you might opt to join the Florida Society of Medical Assistants, the local chapter of the AAMA. This organization can help you find AAMA-approved continuing education, as well as network with other medical professionals.

Back to Top