Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Canoga Park California with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when assessing programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, 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 Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college's program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the California schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Canoga Park healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a school 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 wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout 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 convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it's imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Canoga Park California, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.