Medical Assistant Education Needed Hickam Afb HI

How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Hickam Afb Hawaii

Hickam Afb HI medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hickam Afb HI, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Hickam Afb HI nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Hickam Afb HI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn 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 Programs

In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Hickam Afb HI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Hickam Afb HIThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Hickam Afb HI area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Hickam Afb HI medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Hickam Afb HI medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Hickam Afb HI with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Hickam Afb HI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Hickam Afb HI area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Hickam Afb healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Hickam Afb HI area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention 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 instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hickam Afb HI, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hickam Afb Hawaii?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Hickam Afb HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Hickam Air Force Base

Hickam Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The base merged with the Naval Station Pearl Harbor to become part of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam. The base neighbors Honolulu International Airport and currently shares runways with the airport for its activities and purposes.

Hickam is home to the 15th Wing (15 WG) and 67 partner units including Headquarters of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Hawaii Air National Guard and the 154th Wing (154 WG) of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Air Mobility Command's 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW) provides tactical and strategic airlift within the Pacific region.

The 15th Wing is composed of four groups each with specific functions. The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) controls all flying and airfield operations. The 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG) performs aircraft and aircraft ground equipment maintenance. The 15th Mission Support Group (15 MSG) has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. The 15th Medical Group (15 MDG) provides medical and dental care.

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School Hickam Afb HI

Hickam Afb HI medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Education Needed. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Hickam Afb HI.

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