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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type 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 start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Trussville AL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Trussville AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program'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 college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma 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 obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Trussville AL area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Trussville medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Getting that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Trussville AL area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and 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 imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.