Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching 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 Texarkana Arkansas with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 approved 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Arkansas employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passage Percentage? The majority of Arkansas accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in 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 just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate 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 choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the Arkansas schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Arkansas medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Texarkana health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in Arkansas and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere 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 working full time, it's important that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Texarkana Arkansas, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.