Monday, July 21, 2008

Sponsored Post

I'm going to be experimenting with a new revenue source - the Sponsored Review. Think of it as another form of advertising.

This review is about a medical assistant school, the St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants. It's a distance-learning school.

This is a for-profit company, chartered in the Virgin Islands. From their website:
St. Augustine Educational Services, inc. is an IBC in the British Virgin Islands that provides internet based virtual correspondence distance education programs, after completion of our programs we award a certificate of completion, anyone interested in our program should check with potential employers and local governmental agencies to assure that our certificate of completion will meet their needs. We are not a college or university and as such we do not award college degrees, college credits or diplomas. In addition, we award a basic "certificate of completion" after finishing our programs. We do not provide “certification” for nursing assistants, medical assistants, dental assistants, pharmacy technicians or any other profession. If "certification" is required for your career please check with your certifying association or governmental agency that "certifies" your career to find out their requirements prior to enrolling in any of our programs.


While the website states that the program is accredited, what that means is NOT like the US accreditation standards, where a state or regional body certifies that the program meets certain criteria.

From what I can see, their program for medical assistant would NOT be as useful as a community college program, which provides a state-recognized certificate for medical assistant, and that employers will require to hire.

On the other hand, if you're thinking about moving to the British Virgin Islands, this program might be just what you're looking for, to prepare you for a second career.

The program covers the standard classes - med terminology, basic anatomy and physiology, legal issues, etc. It also has online labs in collecting a blood sample, taking a pulse, and CPR, among others. In the absence of actual experience, I'm concerned about learning about blood samples online - how would you know whether you will get queasy at the sight of blood?

I have used virtual labs - they can give a flavor for the procedure, although I believe that students will still need a practicum experience of some sort. It may be a reasonable choice for someone who is already affiliated with a doctor's office, and can supplement their training with actual experience. Not everyone lives within reasonable distance of a school - some rural residents may find this a worthwhile option.

To be fair, the website has fulfilled legal requirements for warning you about the limitations of their program. It's in fine print, but it IS there. In this case, I think Caveat Emptor is the phrase to remember.

1 comment:

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