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What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Juneau AK with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Juneau AK employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
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 must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select 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 elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Juneau AK area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Juneau healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Juneau AK area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it's important that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Juneau AK, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.