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Become a Medical Assistant in Atascadero California

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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Atascadero CA medical assistant with patient chartBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Atascadero California with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must explore when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to verify that the college you choose 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 accepted organizations 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, 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 Passage Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges create 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 for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the California colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Atascadero health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend 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 Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it's essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Atascadero California, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.



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