Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to North Little Rock Arkansas with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 either of these organizations, 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 offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Arkansas employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the Arkansas accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the Arkansas schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Arkansas medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the North Little Rock medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in Arkansas and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's imperative that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock Arkansas, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.