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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide 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 start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Homewood AL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Homewood AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Homewood AL area medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Homewood healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Homewood AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it's essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Homewood AL, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.