Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Dothan Alabama with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Alabama employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of Alabama accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at 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 focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school'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. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Alabama schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Alabama medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Dothan healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in Alabama and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dothan Alabama, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.