Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Wyoming with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Wyoming employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passing Percentage? Most of the Wyoming accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school's passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school's program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the Wyoming colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Wyoming medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in Wyoming and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher 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 contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Wyoming, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.