Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Chula Vista California with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available 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 School's Passage Percentage? Most of the California accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school's program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make certain that the California schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with California health care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Chula Vista medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in California and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal 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 instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it's important that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chula Vista California, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that may 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.