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Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Prattville AL with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Prattville AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring 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 closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Prattville AL area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Prattville health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Prattville AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small 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 possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville 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 need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

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