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Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Prichard AL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Prichard AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Prichard AL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Prichard health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Prichard AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prichard AL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.