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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Apache Junction AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following 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 College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Apache Junction AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Apache Junction AZ area healthcare providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Apache Junction medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Apache Junction AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it's important that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.