Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Calexico California with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you must look at when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective California employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the California schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California health care providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Calexico healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify 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 students, it affirms 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 may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it's essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Calexico California, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.