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Become a Medical Assistant in Glendale Arizona

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What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Glendale AZ medical assistant with patient chartBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Glendale Arizona with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School's Passing Percentage? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the Arizona schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Arizona health care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Glendale healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help 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 school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale Arizona, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.



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