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Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Flagstaff AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Flagstaff AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Flagstaff AZ area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Flagstaff medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Flagstaff 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 signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it's essential that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, confirm 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 any clinical training or internships that might 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.