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What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Glendale AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Glendale AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Glendale AZ area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Glendale healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Glendale AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's important that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale 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 still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.