Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Alabaster Alabama with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Alabama 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 Alabama accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the Alabama schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Alabama medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Alabaster health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that first 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 colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in Alabama and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of 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 plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's important that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster Alabama, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.