Medical assistance is one of the most promising careers in the 21st century. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the sector is expected to increase due to the growing demand for skilled medical care in different parts of the country. A good training from a reputable institution will be the crucial first step in entering an exciting, challenging and rewarding field. Before signing up for a program, find out what to look for in a medical assistant school to make sure you receive the best training possible.
Any school can organize a course syllabus around a subject area but not all of them can and should offer to teach the course. Reputable schools have to undergo accreditation for whatever degree programs they teach. This is to regulate the content and to ensure that all instructions and learning meet current standards.
Quality of instruction
Another key factor on what to look for in a medical assistant school is the quality of the learning experience it can offer. While this is difficult to ascertain without firsthand experience, it can often be measured based on the experience of the instructors and other members of the teaching faculty. Instructors who have worked in the field before are often more capable of offering practical knowledge based on industry expectations, updates on practices and personal experiences.
A medical assistant school should be able to offer training in theory and in practice. Hands-on or practical training is invaluable in helping students develop the necessary skills to offer sufficient and proper medical care. Always ask if hands-on training is part of the program since this will be crucial to the overall learning experience.
Schools offering quality education usually have an internship program. This will be very beneficial to the ability of the students to apply their learning in a real work environment with real patients and medical professionals. It can also be an excellent qualification when looking for a job or applying for a certification.
Type of training
Medical assistant courses are often offered at vocational schools, technical schools and community colleges. Typically, the course is offered as an associate, diploma or a certificate degree and it should last from 12 months to two years.
Many of the best schools in the country offer career placement assistance. This is an in-house program that aims to help graduates find jobs based on their qualifications. Often, schools work in partnership with medical facilities and professionals to find the right candidate for a job opening or to match a qualified graduate with an available vacancy.
Training that can lead to a certification
After completing the degree, many medical assistant graduates proceed to obtain a certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants or AAMA. This is obtained by taking and passing a standard exam prepared by the organization.
Although there are no laws that require any individual looking for work as a medical assistant to be certified, it can be an advantage since many employers prefer employees to hold a certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified MAs have a better chance of finding jobs with excellent prospects and promotion opportunities. They also have a better earning potential than those who are not certified.
To qualify to take the certifying exam, graduates must be able to show proof of completion of their medical assistant program from an accredited institution and have the required number of hours of internship.