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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Gilbert AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Gilbert AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting 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 one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Gilbert AZ area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Gilbert health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Gilbert AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program 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 large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator 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 offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.