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Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Princeton AL with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below 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 Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure 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 intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Princeton AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Princeton AL area medical providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Princeton health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Princeton 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 a good 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 Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it's important that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.