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What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Casa Grande AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Casa Grande AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose 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. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes 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, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Casa Grande AZ area health care providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Casa Grande health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Casa Grande AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's essential that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.