Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Azusa California with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the California schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Azusa healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa California, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.