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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Goodyear AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies 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 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 often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Goodyear AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to 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 naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Goodyear AZ area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Goodyear medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Goodyear AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high 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 large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and 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 imperative that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may 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 issues.