Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Maricopa Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally 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 school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program targeting 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 methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the Arizona colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Arizona healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Maricopa health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get 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 school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa Arizona, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have 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 illness, work or family issues.