How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Mililani Hawaii
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Mililani HI, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may want to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” 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 available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Mililani HI clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some choose 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
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Mililani HI health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine 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 junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Mililani HI area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many possible Mililani HI medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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 examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Mililani HI with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Mililani HI employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Mililani HI area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Mililani healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Mililani 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 an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mililani HI, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Mililani Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Mililani HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Mililani is a city located near the center of the island of Oʻahu in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It consists of two census-designated places, Mililani Town, with a population of 27,629 at the 2010 census, and Mililani Mauka, with a 2010 census population of 21,039.
Mililani sits on former plantation fields owned by Castle & Cooke, which began planning for its development in the early 1960s under its Oceanic Properties subsidiary. Castle & Cooke's plan was to make Mililani Town a satellite city by using a prestigious group of planners and architects to satisfy Oahu's great pent-up demand for housing with a sensitively designed, affordable new community of a type unique in Hawaii. Architect and developer Al Boeke, who would later create the planned community of Sea Ranch, California, was the development director of Mililani. The first homes in Mililani went on sale on June 3, 1968.
In 1976, the Interstate H-2 opened, cutting travel time from Mililani to Honolulu in half. In 1986, Mililani was named an All-America City. It is the only community in Hawaii ever to receive this distinction. Mililani is the third wealthiest zip code (96789) in the state of Hawaii, according to the 2006 ranking by Pacific Business News.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Mililani HI
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether 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 must acquire the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Accredited Schools For Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Mililani HI.
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