Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Buckeye Arizona with the lowest 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 examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select 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. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the Arizona schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Arizona health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Buckeye healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it's important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye Arizona, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.