How Do I Choose the Best Medical Vocational School?

Crystal Cook
Crystal Cook
A good medical vocational school should be accredited.
A good medical vocational school should be accredited.

When choosing the best medical vocational school, you may want to start by determining what it is you want from the school. You then should look at the programs various schools offer and their accreditation. If possible, it's generally a good idea to visit a school prior to enrolling. You also will want to consider how much time you want to devote to training, the cost of the school and what kind of job — and income — you want once you graduate.

Medical vocational school can be a fast track to getting your medical career started. Medical trade schools offer training for programs such as certified medical assisting, paramedics, pharmacy technicians and licensed practical nursing. A search for the best school likely will start with deciding what program interests you the most and narrowing down your options to schools that offer that program. Not all schools will offer the same programs or the same degree of training, so this step can go a long way toward helping you choose.

It also is important to consider the accreditation of the schools you are considering. Every medical vocational school in the United States and many overseas should have accreditation from a state or national accrediting board. Accredited schools are known for having challenging programs that will give you the training you need for your medical career. The school should have accreditation for some programs, such as medical or pharmacy technician, which will allow you to more easily pursue necessary certifications.

If it is possible, you should visit the medical vocational schools that interest you. A look at the equipment you will be using in labs can help you determine if the equipment — and the program — are up to date and well maintained. You also should ask about the school’s affiliation with any hospitals, because many medical programs will require you to have clinical classes in a hospital. You may find that some schools are not affiliated with the local hospital but with one in another city, requiring a longer commute.

Different programs require different amounts of time to complete. Some medical trade schools offer programs that take only a few months to complete, while other programs may take two years or more. You may want to start your career quickly with a certificate or you may want to enter the medical field with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. You should decide what kind of degree you want to receive and then check with to see what the schools in which you are interested have to offer.

Money is a big factor when choosing the best medical vocational school. In the U.S., so-called in-state schools are normally cheaper than schools outside your state of residence. You also may be able to get both state and federal financial aid to help you pay for school.

You also may want to consider the kind of money you hope to make in the future. While the medical field needs highly skilled medical workers and nearly all positions pay well, some fields pay higher than others. For example, a licensed practical nurse will most likely make a larger salary than a medical assistant will. Possible career advancements and your own interest in a particular field also can help you pick the best medical vocational school for your needs.

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    • A good medical vocational school should be accredited.
      A good medical vocational school should be accredited.