Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Carlsbad California with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible 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, many potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School's Passage Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the California schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with California medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Carlsbad health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in California and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may 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 prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it's imperative that the school you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Carlsbad California, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.