Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Prescott Valley Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the Arizona colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Arizona medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Prescott Valley healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it's imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley Arizona, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.