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What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Avondale AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you enroll in 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 complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Avondale AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Avondale AZ area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Avondale medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Avondale AZ area and find out 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 health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.