Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Tucson Arizona with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, 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 acknowledged agencies 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Arizona employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Rate? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school'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. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining 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 closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the Arizona schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Arizona healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Tucson health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in Arizona and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may 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 greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, 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 get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tucson Arizona, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.