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Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend 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 beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Coolidge AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Coolidge AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Coolidge AZ area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Coolidge healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Coolidge AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it's important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.