Prior to examining 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 at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to San Tan Valley Arizona with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential 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 colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get 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 decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the Arizona colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Arizona healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the San Tan Valley healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley Arizona, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.