Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you want 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 discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Burlingame California with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program's Passage Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the school'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. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the California schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with California health care providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Burlingame healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance 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 college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers 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 just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it's essential that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Burlingame California, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.