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Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Gadsden AL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Gadsden AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out 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 college's program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Gadsden AL area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Gadsden healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Gadsden AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might 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 increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it's imperative that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.