Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Antioch California with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Percentage? The majority of California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask 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 college's program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, verify that the California schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with California health care providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Antioch medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating 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 affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch California, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.