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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Albertville AL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Albertville AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Albertville AL area health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Albertville medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Albertville AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Albertville AL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.