First, let’s talk about accreditation. Accreditation is a review process during which an outside organization ensures that our school meets the national standards for health education. The standard accrediting bodies are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. We renew our accreditations with these organizations every several years, inviting their representatives into our classrooms, offices, and workspaces. This process sometimes takes an entire year. Here’s why we do it (and believe other schools for medical assisting should, too).
1. We want to maintain high standards.
If nothing else, accreditation helps us ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide a safe and pleasant education environment for our students as well as a positive work environment for our staff. An outside perspective is invaluable, as accreditation professionals can suggest improvements and changes we can’t think of from our own point of view. They improve the fluidity of administrative work within the school as well as the content of our programs. After being accredited, we know we are providing something high quality.
2. We want our students to be responsible workers on the forefront of the field.
The directors of ACHT have been caring for the welfare of the school for 20 years, and they enjoy it. But understandably, they can’t keep up with the latest changes in medical practice, and they cannot ensure, on their own, that ACHT’s programs are up to date. Accrediting bodies survey healthcare education organizations and schools for medical assisting all over the U.S., ensuring that they are teaching material that is relevant to the field.
3. We want to maximize our students’ opportunities.
Perhaps the most important reason to get accredited: students who graduate from accredited schools for medical assisting and accredited medical assisting programs can advance their careers by becoming Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs), while other students cannot. Likewise, students who would like to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) must graduate from accredited surgical technology programs. We don’t want to limit our students’ options when they graduate – rather, we want them to have all of the available options. If an accreditation will advance graduates’ careers, we get it.
4. Accreditation is good for us.
Schools for medical assisting naturally face certain risks and liabilities. If we endanger our students, we face crippling lawsuits. If we do not offer useful training programs, we will go out of business, and if we do not have a well-organized central administration system, we will fail to communicate with our staff and may lose our most valuable employees. Accreditation isn’t easy or cheap, but it’s a good way to protect ourselves against the pitfalls of running a healthcare training school.
Remember: schools for medical assisting won’t make you eligible to become a CMA unless they’re accredited. We pride ourselves on keeping our accreditation current. Contact us today for a career in medical assisting!