Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, 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 process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Brentwood California with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, 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? The majority of California accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the California colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Brentwood medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual 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 one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it's important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood California, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.