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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Enterprise AL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Enterprise AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Enterprise AL area medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Enterprise medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Enterprise AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can 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 offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Enterprise





 

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