How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wheeler Army Airfield HI, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (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 colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their function is ensure that the Wheeler Army Airfield HI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties 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 confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some opt 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 licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Wheeler Army Airfield HI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical 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 classes. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent option for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Wheeler Army Airfield HI area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Wheeler Army Airfield HI medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to decide which type of credential you want to attain, 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 covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Wheeler Army Airfield HI with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Wheeler Army Airfield HI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready 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 interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Wheeler Army Airfield HI area healthcare providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Wheeler Army Airfield healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wheeler Army Airfield HI, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wheeler Army Airfield
Wheeler Army Airfield (IATA: HHI, ICAO: PHHI, FAA LID: HHI), also known as Wheeler Field and formerly as Wheeler Air Force Base, is a United States Army post located in the City & County of Honolulu and in the Wahiawa District of the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii. It is a National Historic Landmark for its role in the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Wheeler AAF comprises approximately 1,389 acres (5.62 km2) of land adjacent to Schofield Barracks and is home to a variety of Department of Defense activities including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the 169th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (169 ACWS) of the Hawaii Air National Guard, the 193rd Aviation Regiment (Medium Lift), Detachment 55 Operational Support Airlift (Det 55 OSA) of the Hawaii Army National Guard, the Regular Army's 25th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade, and Trial Defense Service-Hawaii.
On 6 February 1922, a detachment of 20 enlisted men from Luke Field, proceeded to Schofield Barracks, under Lieutenant William T. Agee, to clear the flying field on the grounds of the former 17th Cavalry Regiment drill grounds and construct housing for the divisional air service. Two canvas hangars were erected and the field cleared of weeds, guava and algaroba trees. Thus Wheeler Field got its modest start. It was named Wheeler Field on 11 November 1922 in honor of Major Sheldon H. Wheeler, former commander of Luke Field on Ford Island, killed in the crash of DH-4B, AAS Ser. No. 63525 on 13 July 1921.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Wheeler Army Airfield HI
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you select 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 Certify Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type 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 compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
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