5 Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Medical Assistant Training Program

Posted On April 11,2024

If you have decided to begin a medical assistant training program, you have already made a great decision for your future. Working as a medical assistant offers excellent job security, many career opportunities, and the ability to make a difference in the lives of your patients. Once you have decided to begin a training program, the next step is to choose the right program for you. There are many options out there, but there are some key factors that you should consider when selecting a medical assistant training program.

Medical assistant wearing glasses and a white medical coat.

1. Accreditation 

The first step when selecting a medical assistant training program is to find an accredited program. Completing an accredited medical assistant training program is the only way to take the certification exams. While it is not always required for medical assistants to take and pass the certification exams, it will open many more doors to better positions and make you a far more desirable candidate than one without certification. Your job opportunities and pay rate will improve after graduating from an accredited program. The two primary accrediting organizations are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If the program you are considering is not accredited, it is well worth looking elsewhere to find one that will set you up for success.

2. Cost

The cost of a traditional four-year undergraduate degree is intimidating. Still, medical assistant training programs are far more affordable. They can allow you to begin working in your new career and earn a salary much sooner than you would with other degree programs. Tuition rates are affordable for a good percentage of students interested in becoming medical assistants, and the investment will pay off quickly as students begin working in a high-demand career. However, most programs understand that students come from different circumstances and are willing to work with prospective students. When considering different medical assistant training programs, talk to the financial aid office about opportunities to help you afford to go through the program. Loans, scholarships, payment plans, and grants are all there for students who may need them, and the financial aid office is there to help.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility is essential for those who are making a career change as students attempt to balance their current job and family responsibilities alongside classes.  A good question to ask when selecting a medical assistant training program is: Can you do this while maintaining another job? Many medical assistant training programs offer flexible schedules that allow students to balance their commitments. Daytime, evening, and weekend options can be combined to make the program accessible for all schedule needs. Many programs including classwork, clinical hours, and an externship, can be completed in under a year. When researching medical assistant training programs, see if they offer the necessary flexibility.

4. Curriculum

Medical assistant training programs should all offer a thorough curriculum that will fully prepare you for a career as a medical assistant. This includes courses in the fundamentals of medical assisting, anatomy and physiology, patient care, medical terminology, CPR, first aid, and emergency care. Medical assistant training should offer a balance between classwork and clinical hours to allow you to get the information you need in collaboration with hands-on training that will thoroughly prepare you for a new career. A good medical assistant training program will also include an externship, typically about six weeks, allowing you to experience work as a medical assistant. With a thorough curriculum, you will be well prepared to take a certification exam and work in any context as a medical assistant. When you are looking for a medical assistant training program, look at the courses included as part of the curriculum to ensure that the program will prepare you entirely for your new career.

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5. Job Placement Assistance

Going through a training program is only the first step. After you complete the program, you will need to get a job, which can be intimidating. Most high-quality medical assistant training programs offer job placement assistance to get you working quickly after graduation. Externships through a medical assistant training program can often turn into job opportunities, as these medical facilities will see first-hand how you work as a medical assistant and will be eager to hire someone they know is qualified, motivated, and familiar with the work. Medical assistants are in high demand, and a good training program will often work with you to offer excellent career opportunities after graduation. 

Why Choose to Pursue a Career in Medical Assisting?

Medical assisting is a gratifying career. Because medical assistants are so in demand due to an aging population, your career opportunities and job security are better than many other career choices. Medical assistants perform various roles in healthcare facilities, such as taking medical histories, recording vital signs, preparing patients for exams and procedures, and assisting nurses and physicians during procedures and exams. You will work hands-on with patients and make a difference in their experience. Medical assistants are needed in many different facilities, making the job opportunities vast, particularly if you continue your education after graduation. Many healthcare facilities assist those employees who choose to further their education to advance their careers in healthcare. 

Choosing the right program for medical assistant training is the first step toward your new career. If you take the time to look at the program and what it can offer you, you will know that you’ve chosen a program that will set you on a new path with the best possible start.

Ready to kickstart your career as a medical assistant? Choose Athena Career Academy for accredited training, affordable tuition, flexible schedules, comprehensive curriculum, and job placement assistance. Take the first step towards a rewarding career by contacting us today!

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