Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Decatur Alabama with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Alabama employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the Alabama accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the Alabama schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Alabama healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Decatur healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in Alabama and ask 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 medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may 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 likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it's essential that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Decatur Alabama, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will 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 issues.