How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Wailuku Hawaii
Once you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wailuku HI, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Wailuku HI hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Wailuku HI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Wailuku HI area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Wailuku HI medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained 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). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Wailuku HI with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Wailuku HI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating 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 ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Wailuku HI area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Wailuku medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Wailuku HI area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wailuku HI, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Wailuku Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wailuku HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.
Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.
There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Wailuku HI
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Weekend Classes. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Wailuku HI.
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