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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Florence AL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 school 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 normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Florence AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges 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 enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Florence AL area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Florence medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Florence AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.