Medical Assisting Education and Career Guide
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The Importance of Choosing an Accredited Medical Assistant Program
If you’re researching schools and programs, find out why you should attend an accredited medical assistant school.
If you’re researching schools and programs, there are many things to consider.
You may want to look at the school’s proximity to your home and whether you can schedule the courses you’ll need. You will also want to ensure that the curriculum covers exactly what will fit your criteria for what it means to be the best medical assistant possible. One easy way to check the overall educational quality of a program is to verify that your school is professionally or regionally accredited.
Here’s why you should always attend an accredited medical assistant school.
If you are wondering what accreditation really is, a good working definition is accreditation is a sign that an institution ascribes to, believes in, and has met an external set of basic criteria for its programs. An accredited school will have passed a thorough inspection of its educational and administrative policies and practices, gauged by peers actually in the profession. An accredited school is credentialed as being an institution that graduates students who are fully prepared to succeed in their area of specialty.
The Importance of Choosing an Accredited Program
Accreditation should be one of your top qualifying criteria when researching programs. You want the very best education and when a program can boast accreditation from either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), you can be assured your school can deliver the most current curriculum.
Beyond the assurance that your school offers the high quality medical assistant education that you’ll need to prepare for a career in this field, you’ll also find that accreditation carries additional benefits:
- Not only will these accrediting agencies assure that the how’s and what’s of learning are in place, but that you will form an educational bedrock for future growth.
- If you receive a medical assistant certificate from school accredited by either the CAAHEP or ABHES, you will be able to later build on that certificate to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and be assured your credits will transfer.
- With an accredited school credential on your resume, you can sit for the national certification exam and become a Certified Medical Assistant.
One critical key benefit to attending an accredited program is that they offer access to federal financial aid to help you pay for school and supplies. It is important to have a supplemental means with which to pay for your education. Keep in mind that there are also plenty of scholarships available from a wide range of foundations and organizations in your local area and nationally.
Programs that have regional accreditation may also be satisfactory for many students, and there are six locations that govern specific areas of the United States. When a program has regional accreditation, you can still build on the completed schooling, in that you can transfer your credits to other educational institutions and earn a higher degree. Make sure to do a comparison of the programs to ensure that you will learn what you need in order to succeed in your medical assisting career.
Find the Best Curriculum
Some areas of a program’s curriculum that accrediting agencies look for in a medical assistant program include the following studies:
- Lab techniques
- Clinical procedures
- Best practices for offices
- Insurance processing and coding
- Medical terms
On top of this, make sure that your accredited program includes a practicum that will provide real world experience. Find out how closely your educational program works with your clinical experience and make sure they are grooming you for success on the CMA exam. Ask how your practicum is structured and what your options are. For example, upon completion will you be prepared to work in your desired specialty or healthcare facility, such as a doctor’s office or a specialized department in a hospital.
Get Started Today
Now that you know more of what to look for in an accredited medical assistant program, you’ll be prepared to ask the right questions and find the best school for you. Admissions counselors are ready to help you make the right decisions and find out whether their school is really the best for you. Get started today by requesting free information from accredited programs near you or online.