Medical Assistant Programs Guide

Nancy Smith Interview

My name is Nancy Smith and in 2007 at the age of 46 I went back to school to be a medical assistant. My location was Skokie, Il.

Why were you interested in medical assistant training?
I was interested in this program due to health care positions rising in the employment field and have always had an interest in healthcare. At my age I decided this was a fairly quick way to get into health care. The program would teach me not only health care procedures but administrative duties as well.

How did you choose the medical assistant program you attended?
I choose the school first based on an ad on television and then through visiting the campus in person. I also did some internet research as well.

What did you like about the program?
I enjoyed the hands on contact with the class. The class was small enough for our instructor to always give hands on experience too. Class was provided in a short enough time to not be overwhelmed with school for a long period of time. It took just 7 months to complete with one additional month for externship.

What did you not like about the program?
I would say the thing i disliked was the computer class. It was not very well organized and run – possibly just the instructor we had. It seemed that everyone obtained a passing grade whether they understood what they were doing or not. Towards the end of my program the school did recognize and changed the way it ran. Our actual classroom instructors were put into the computer class as our instructor for the computer class too.

What types of jobs did you and your fellow classmates get after completing the training? How much did these jobs pay?
Most of my class mates and myself did get jobs as MA’s right away. The school had a good externship program that provided great leads and contacts. Average pay for entry level was approximately $14 per hour.

What was the total cost of your medical assistant program?
The total cost was $14,000.

How did you pay for your medical assistant program?
I actually paid $2,800 during the class ($400.00 per month while there) and obtained a loan for the balance of $6,000. I was allowed a grant for approx. $5,700 so my total cost was about $9,000.

What advice would you give to students regarding paying for their medical assistant training?
I would make sure they meet with the office and obtain all the grants and aid that is available to them. Some of the students did not do this.

What things should a student look for when choosing a medical assistant program?
The best things to look for are small enough classes that you get hands on learning. It must be an accredited school as well. Future employers are adamant about that.

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