Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Gilbert Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passing Rate? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating 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 just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose 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 closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the Arizona colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Arizona medical care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Gilbert health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Finding that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's essential that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert Arizona, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.