Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Scottsdale Arizona with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
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 need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the Arizona schools you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Arizona health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Scottsdale health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some 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 college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it's essential that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale Arizona, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will 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.