Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Bellflower California with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of California accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the California colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Bellflower medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it's essential that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bellflower California, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.