Before you can start 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 selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Little Rock Arkansas with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Arkansas employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the Arkansas accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs 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 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the Arkansas schools you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Arkansas medical providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Little Rock medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in Arkansas and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's essential that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Little Rock Arkansas, make sure 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 internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.