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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Fort Payne AL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in 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 either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Fort Payne AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Fort Payne AL area medical providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Fort Payne health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Fort Payne AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a school 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 college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.