Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Arcadia California with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to verify that the school you select 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 intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. 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 mentioned previously, a number of potential California employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Rate? The majority of California accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the California schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Arcadia health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, 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 Large are the Classrooms? Class size can 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 furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia California, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.