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Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, 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 evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Chandler AZ with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Chandler AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Chandler AZ area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Chandler healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Chandler AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it's imperative that the college you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.