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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Paradise Valley AZ with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Paradise Valley AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Paradise Valley AZ area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Paradise Valley healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Paradise Valley AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during 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 convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's essential that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Paradise Valley AZ, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.