Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Aliso Viejo California with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. 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 naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select 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 obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the California schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Aliso Viejo healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Aliso Viejo California, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.