Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Alhambra California with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training 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 agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? The majority of California accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting 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, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the California schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Alhambra health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alhambra California, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.