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Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Cullman AL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cullman AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Cullman AL area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Cullman healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Cullman AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe 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 program while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cullman AL, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.