Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Chico California with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential California employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the California colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with California medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Chico healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chico California, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.