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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Marana AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Marana AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to 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 example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Marana AZ area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Marana healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Marana 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.