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Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to San Tan Valley AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective San Tan Valley AZ employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with San Tan Valley AZ area health care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the San Tan Valley health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the San Tan Valley AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests 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 teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it's imperative that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.