Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Castro Valley California with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program's Passage Rate? Most of the California accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the California colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Castro Valley health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer 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 indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it's imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Castro Valley California, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.