Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Yuma Arizona with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, 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 Passing Rate? Most of the Arizona accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the Arizona schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Arizona medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Yuma healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in Arizona and find out 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 health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's important that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma Arizona, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.