How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Waipahu Hawaii
Once you have decided to join the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Waipahu HI, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Waipahu HI clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Waipahu HI health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Waipahu HI area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Waipahu HI medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Waipahu HI with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you select 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 plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Waipahu HI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Waipahu HI area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Waipahu health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Waipahu HI area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waipahu HI, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Waipahu Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Waipahu HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Waipahu is a former sugarcane plantation town and now census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District on the island of Oʻahu in the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP population was 38,216. The U.S. postal code for Waipahu is 96797.
Waipahu is the name of an artesian spring. In Hawaiian, Waipahu is derived from wai, meaning water, and pahū, meaning "burst or explode"; combined, Waipahu means "water forced up (as out of a spring)". The early Native Hawaiians took pleasure in the cool and clear water gushing from the ground and named this spring Waipahu. Before the Western civilization set foot in Hawaii, the Hawaiians considered Waipahu to be the capital of Oahu. Royalty in the Kingdom of Hawaii would often gather and enjoy the fresh water from the spring Waipahu.
In 1897, Oahu Sugar Company was incorporated, and its board of directors located the sugar mill in Waipahu. It had 943 field workers. There were 44 Hawaiians, including 10 minors; 57 Portuguese; 443 Japanese, 408 of them contract laborers; and 399 Chinese, 374 of whom were contract laborers. The company's managers from 1897 to 1940 were August Ahrens (1897–1904), E.K. Bull (1904–1919), J.B. Thomson (1919–1923), E.W. Greene (1923–1937), and Hans L'Orange (1937–1956).
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Waipahu HI
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Degree Programs. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Waipahu HI.
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