Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Boyle Heights California with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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 one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School's Passing Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the California schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California medical care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Boyle Heights medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it's important that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights California, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.