How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Kaunakakai Hawaii
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kaunakakai HI, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Kaunakakai HI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Hawaii law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Kaunakakai HI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade 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 clinical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative 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 option for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Kaunakakai HI area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical 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 idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Kaunakakai HI medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained 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 take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Kaunakakai HI with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you choose is accredited. To begin 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 approved organizations 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Kaunakakai HI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate 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 decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Kaunakakai HI area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Kaunakakai medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Kaunakakai HI area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kaunakakai HI, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kaunakakai Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kaunakakai HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kaunakakai is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. It is the largest town on the island of Molokaʻi. The population was 3,425 at the 2010 census. It has the largest port on the island and the longest pier in Hawaii. The town was made famous in the 1930s by the song "The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai", beginning an ongoing tradition of designating an honorary mayor for the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42.6 km2), of which 12.8 square miles (33.2 km2) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.4 km2), or 22.00%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,425 people, 1,254 households, and 850 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,342.7 people per square mile (518.5/km²). There were 1,533 housing units at an average density of 473.8 per square mile (183.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 15.4% White, 0.5% Black, 0.3% Native American, 22.2% Asian (of whom 15.5% were Filipino), 22.4% Native Hawaiian, 0.3% from other races, and 37.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Kaunakakai HI
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing 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 choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Requirements. 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, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Kaunakakai HI.
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