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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Badger AK with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Badger AK employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Badger AK area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Badger healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Badger AK area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it's imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Badger AK, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.