Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Surprise Arizona with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of Arizona accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the Arizona schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Arizona medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Surprise medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating 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 graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention 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 practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it's important that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Surprise Arizona, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.