Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those selections 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 restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Berkeley California with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive 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 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential California employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passing Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get 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 acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the California schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Berkeley health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it's imperative that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Berkeley California, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.