How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Kahului Hawaii
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kahului HI, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant 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 schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their job is to make sure that the Kahului HI hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations 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 attain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Kahului HI health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed 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 usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical 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.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Kahului HI area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Kahului HI medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Kahului HI with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools 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 guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Kahului HI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges 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 programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is 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 eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Kahului HI area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Kahului healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Kahului HI area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college 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 need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kahului HI, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kahului Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kahului HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kahului is a census-designated place (CDP) on the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It hosts Maui's main airport (Kahului Airport), deep-draft harbor, light industrial areas, and commercial shopping centers. The population was 26,337 at the 2010 census. Kahului is part of the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes nearby Wailuku and the town and former whaling village of Lahaina.
The retail center for Maui residents, Kahului has several malls and major stores (including department stores in the Queen Kaahumanu Center); other significant groupings of stores are in Lāhainā such as the Lahaina Cannery Mall, the Happy Valley area of Wailuku, Maui Market Place and Maui Mall, which are both also located in Kahului; and The Shops at Wailea in Wailea.
Kahului is not generally considered a tourist destination. It does feature the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanaha Beach County Park, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Kahului HI
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right information on available programs before 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 discussed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Short Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Kahului HI.
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