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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to East Florence AL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective East Florence AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select 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 about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with East Florence AL area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the East Florence healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the East Florence AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.