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What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Troy AL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Troy AL employers will not hire 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 create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out 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. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Troy AL area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Troy health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Troy AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates 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 Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it's important that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Troy AL, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.