Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to San Luis Arizona with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for 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 hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the Arizona colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Arizona medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the San Luis health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the school you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near San Luis Arizona, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.