Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Prescott Arizona with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make sure that the school you enroll in 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 approved organizations 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available 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 school.
What is the Program's Passage Rate? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the Arizona colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Arizona medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Prescott health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in Arizona and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it's essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Arizona, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.