Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Lake Havasu City Arizona with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Arizona employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program's Passage 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 schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? 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, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the Arizona colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Arizona health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Lake Havasu City healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere 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 important that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City Arizona, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.