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Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Sylacauga AL with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in 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 one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Sylacauga AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask 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 college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Sylacauga AL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Sylacauga health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Sylacauga AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it's important that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.