Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Prattville Alabama with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Alabama employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of Alabama accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must 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 instance, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain 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 opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Alabama schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Alabama medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Prattville medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in Alabama and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction 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 face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to observe 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 program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prattville Alabama, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.