Prior to assessing 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. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Anaheim California with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective California employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program focused 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 ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the California colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Anaheim health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get 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 convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it's imperative that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim California, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.