Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Bell Gardens California with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? The majority of California accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, find out 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 college's program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the California colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Bell Gardens health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it's imperative that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell Gardens California, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.