How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Honolulu Hawaii
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Honolulu HI, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Honolulu HI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Hawaii law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Honolulu HI health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Honolulu HI area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Honolulu HI medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Honolulu HI with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Honolulu HI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Honolulu HI area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Honolulu health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Honolulu HI area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Honolulu HI, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Honolulu Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Honolulu HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Honolulu (/ˌhɒnəˈluːluː/;Hawaiian: [honoˈlulu]) is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu.[a] The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
Honolulu is the most remote city of its size in the world and is the westernmost major U.S. city. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau recognizes the approximate area commonly referred to as "City of Honolulu" (not to be confused with the "City and County") as a census county division (CCD). Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands and of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the Honolulu census designated place (CDP) was 359,870 as of the 2017 population estimate, while the Honolulu CCD was 390,738 and the population of the consolidated city and county was 953,207.
Honolulu means "sheltered harbor" or "calm port". The old name is Kou, a district roughly encompassing the area from Nuʻuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street to Queen Street which is the heart of the present downtown district. The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian Islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan near the city on December 7, 1941.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Honolulu HI
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Prerequisites. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Honolulu HI.
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