Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Catalina Foothills Arizona with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to 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 great reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin 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 need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Arizona schools you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Arizona healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Catalina Foothills healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction 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 face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills Arizona, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical 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 responsibilities.