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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Foley 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 considerations that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Foley AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare 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 obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Foley AL area medical care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Foley health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that very first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Foley AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Foley AL, verify 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 internships or clinical 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 responsibilities.

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