Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Ceres California with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must look at when assessing schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program's Passing Rate? The majority of California accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the California colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with California healthcare providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Ceres healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some 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 higher 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 wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor 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 Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it's essential that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ceres California, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.