Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Fayetteville Arkansas with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following 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 School Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the school you select 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 intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Arkansas employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? The majority of Arkansas accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs 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 enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get 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 obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the Arkansas schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Arkansas healthcare providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Fayetteville healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in Arkansas and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies 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 individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville Arkansas, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.