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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Phoenix AZ with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Phoenix AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose 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 just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Phoenix AZ area medical care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Phoenix medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Phoenix AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it's important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

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