Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Apache Junction Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the Arizona schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Arizona health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Apache Junction health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to witness 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 college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction Arizona, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.