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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Payson AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Payson AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing 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. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Payson AZ area medical care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Payson health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Payson AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Payson AZ, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might 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 responsibilities.