Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Casa Grande Arizona with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when researching schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified 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 mentioned previously, many potential Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out 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. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting 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 about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the Arizona colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Arizona medical providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Casa Grande health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande Arizona, 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 also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.