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Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Green Valley AZ with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Green Valley AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school'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. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Green Valley AZ area healthcare providers. They are a great means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Green Valley healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Green Valley AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it's essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.