Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Casas Adobes Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in 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. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting 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, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the Arizona colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Arizona medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Casas Adobes healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it's essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casas Adobes Arizona, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.