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What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Florence AZ with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Florence AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire 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 elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Florence AZ area health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Florence health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Florence AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small 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 practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it's essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AZ, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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