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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections 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 restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Jacksonville AL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Jacksonville AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School's Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools 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 naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Jacksonville AL area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Jacksonville healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Jacksonville AL area and find out 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 medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's imperative that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jacksonville AL, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

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