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Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Alexander City AL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Alexander City AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Alexander City AL area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Alexander City healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Alexander City AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.