Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to East Florence Alabama with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Alabama employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the Alabama accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the Alabama schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Alabama health care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the East Florence health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in Alabama and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment 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 on a full time basis, it's important that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence Alabama, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.