Hawaii Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Working as a medical assistant in Hawaii can be a dream come true. The state is well renowned for its natural beauty and tropical climate and draws a bustling tourist population. Medical assistants earn top income, with mean wages around $16 per hour, while living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Medical facilities are mostly concentrated in Honolulu, which makes this the top city to work as a medical assistant in Hawaii. There are not many medical assistant schools in Hawaii, though extended training programs may become available as demand increases. Not all medical assisting schools in Hawaii are accredited. Without accreditation, students are not able to take certification exams. Certification exams are important for professional credibility, and many employers require it. Be sure to check with each school to see if they hold accreditation.
Hawaii Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
In most entry-level healthcare positions, individuals are required by law to hold a nationally recognized credential to work. However, in the case of medical assistants (MAs), they are not explicitly required to be credentialed in order to be hired in the field. Despite all of this, individuals working in the medical assisting field who wish to gain a leg up on their peers, enhance their career prospects, and increase their earning potential can pursue two widely recognized certifications.
The two credentials available to those in the medical assisting field are:
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential which is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential which is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
OPTION 1: The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Credential
Individuals must satisfy the following requirements to become eligible to sit for the AAMA’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination:
- Provide proof of having successfully completed a medical assisting program that has been approved by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- All programs MUST be made up of two essential components: theoretical lecture and clinical application. Within these frameworks, students are required to encounter clinical and administrative coursework which includes but is not limited to topics like medical law & ethics, record keeping and accounting, pharmacology, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and medication administration, among others.
- Once acquired, the CMA credential is active for 60 months and must be renewed thereafter. This can be done by taking a recertification exam or taking continuing education credits.
OPTION 2: The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Credential
Individuals must satisfy at least ONE of the following requirements to become eligible to sit for the AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential exam:
- Pathway I: Complete a college-level medical assistant program that has:
- Been accredited by a regional or national agency that’s been sanctioned by either the US Department of Education, The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the AMT Board of Directors
- 720 hours of theoretical instruction in an in-class or online setting and 160 hours of clinical experience with real-world patients in a healthcare setting
- Pathway II: Have extensive work experience in the field
- Be able to provide proof of having worked as a medical assistant who has carried out both clinical and administrative functions for at least five of the past seven years
- Pathway III: Have experience as a medical assistant program instructor
- Be able to provide proof of having worked as a medical assistant program instructor for at least five years of the past seven years OR one year of teaching experience combined with three or more years of working in the field
- Pathway IV: Complete a program in the US Armed Forces that’s comparable to a collegiate medical assistant program
Like college-level medical assisting programs, individuals must complete 720 hours of in-class/online theoretical instruction and 160 hours of supervised clinical practice with real patients at a healthcare facility or doctor’s office
List of Hawaii Medical Assisting Programs
1. Hawaii Medical College
Hawaii Medical College is located in Honolulu and offers a diploma in clinical medical assisting. The program takes about one year to complete. Students receive certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, electrocardiography, and phlebotomy in addition to certification as a clinical medical assistant. Students may usually complete the program in about one year. The cost of the program is approximately $16,000.
2. Hawaii Technology Institute
Located in Honolulu, Hawaii Technology Institute offers a diploma in medical assisting. The program combines administrative and clinical skills. Students may take the program part-time or full time. Full-time students may complete the program in about 52 weeks. Students also complete a 4-week externship at a local hospital or clinic. Upon graduation, students may take the registered medical assistant certification exam (RMA).
3. Kapi’Olani Community College
Kapi’Olani Community College offers both a certificate and a degree in medical assisting. Students in the degree program take advanced core courses, while the certificate program offers focused instruction to help students enter to the workforce faster. Students have a combination of online and in-class instruction. Hands-on training in the campus lab is also provided, as well as a clinical externship. Students are eligible to take the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam upon graduation. Costs of the program vary based on the program chosen.
4. Hawaii Institute of Healthcare & Training Services
Hawaii Institute of Healthcare & Training Services is a private, for-profit medical career training institution which offers students a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Program which meets on weekends from 9:00am to 2:00pm at its campus in Hilo.
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