The growing field of medical assisting is becoming increasingly valued by healthcare providers because of the wide scope of duties these medical assistants can handle. This is especially true in Hawai’i, where the number of medical assistants is expected to increase greatly in the next decade.[Leer en español]
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Hawaii
In healthcare offices and outpatient clinics, medical assistants play a critical role in bridging communication between patients, physicians, and the rest of the healthcare team. They perform patient intake, update medical records, remove wound dressings and take electrocardiograms, among other skilled tasks. Medical assistants can complete any tasks deemed necessary by the physicians who supervise them, so long as they do not require medical diagnosis, treatment, or care.
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Hawaii
The state of Hawaii only requires medical assistants to hold their high school diploma or GED at a minimum. Those who wish to become medical assistants need to be fast thinkers, hard workers, and welcoming to patients. Communication skills are also a must for medical assistants, as they relay important information between patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Hawaii
Because of Hawaii’s small size, there are not many accredited medical assistant school options available in the state. Students who wish to pursue their Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential should choose a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CCAHEP), such as these:
Kapiolani Community College
This Honolulu-based school offers three levels of medical assistant training: Certificate of Competence, Certificate of Achievement, and Associate Science Degree in Medical Assisting. The latter two allow students to take the CMA test.
Kauai Community College
A subset of the University of Hawaii, this public school allows students to earn their Medical Assisting Certificate of Achievement (CA) and become eligible for the CMA test. The program requires 43 to 44 credits for completion.
Certification in Medical Assisting in Hawaii
Most employers are seeking medical assistants who hold a CMA credential to demonstrate the utmost responsibility and high levels of care. Most require their medical assistants to become recertified every 60 months. As the national standard of medical care is changing, the Patient-Centered Home Care system is becoming the standard approach to healthcare. Medical assistants are essential to this model of care because of their ability to use critical thinking skills and exceptional training to support the patient-physician relationship.
Earning the CMA credential demonstrates that medical assistant has the knowledge and skills to perform their duties by the AAMA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Additionally, most employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants, as it provides them with a way to gauge an applicant’s competency and professionalism.
Certified Medical Assistant Certification In Hawaii
The AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) administers the CMA exam across the United States, including Hawaii. The exam is broken up into four main parts: medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and clinical skills. Candidates are given three hours to complete a total of 200 questions.
The fee for the exam is $125 for AAMA members and $210 for non-members. Candidates who take the CMA exam are also required to pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $25.
Those who pass the exam receive certification from the AAMA, which is valid for 60 months (five years). In order to maintain certification, medical assistants need to complete 40 hours of continuing education every five years. Recertification examinations are available for those who do not wish to take the initial CMA exam again.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification In Hawaii
The CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant) exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association. The exam covers topics such as medical terminology, patient care and safety, injury prevention, pharmacology, medical law and ethics, laboratory procedures and techniques, clinical procedures and techniques, anatomy and physiology, and pathology.
The fee for the exam is $115 for NHA members and $135 for non-members. Candidates who take the CCMA exam are also required to pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $25.
Those who pass the exam receive certification from the NHA, which is valid for two years. To maintain certification, medical assistants need to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. Recertification examinations are available for those who do not wish to take the initial CCMA exam again.
As a medical assistant in Hawaii, you can have peace of mind that someone with your credentials will be highly sought after, as employers recognize the importance of having certified professionals on staff. Also, with a CMA or CCMA certification, you can rest assured that your knowledge and skills will be up to date with the ever-changing medical industry. Whether you are just starting in the field of medical assisting or are an experienced professional looking for new opportunities, a certification from one of these programs is sure to help you stand out from the crowd.
Registered Medical Assistant Certification In Hawaii
The RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) exam is administered by the American Medical Technologists. The exam covers topics such as medical terminology, patient care, and safety, injury prevention, pharmacology, medical law and ethics, laboratory procedures and techniques, clinical procedures and techniques, anatomy and physiology, pathology.
The fee for the exam is $125 for AMT members and $160 for non-members. Candidates who take the RMA exam are also required to pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $25.
Those who pass the exam receive certification from AMT, which is valid for three years. To maintain certification, medical assistants need to complete 30 hours of continuing education every three years. Recertification examinations are available for those who do not wish to take the initial RMA exam again.
A certification from one of these programs is sure to open up more job opportunities in Hawaii, as employers value certified medical assistants more than ever before. Whether you are just starting your career as a medical assistant or are an experienced professional looking for new opportunities, having a certification from one of these programs is sure to help you stand out from the crowd. With this certification under your belt, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are prepared to work in Hawaii’s medical industry and that you will be equipped with the skills necessary to provide quality care.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Hawaii
About 98 percent of medical assistants are paid hourly, while two percent are paid annual salaries. The Pacific region of the United States was found to have the highest-paid medical assistants in 2018, with a mean reported hourly rate of $20.85.
In Hawaii alone, medical assistants are still paid above the national average. In 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean hourly income of $14.42 for the 4,230 medical assistants employed throughout the state.
By 2030, the number of medical assistants in Hawai’i is projected to increase by 22 percent.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Hawaii
Without a doubt, urban Honolulu is the number one place for medical assistants to work in Hawai’i. The BLS reported in 2017 that 2,500 medical assistants were employed in the city. However, with the continued rising need for medical assistants, applicants can likely find jobs anywhere in the state.
Most medical assistants work a standard full-time, 40-hour week, but some work nights and weekends as well. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) reported in 2018 that about 62 percent of medical assistants worked in general care practices, while 32 percent worked in practices with medical or surgical specialties. Furthermore, about 96 percent of full-time medical assistants received some sort of benefits package from their employers.
Popular Medical Assistant Schools in Hawaii
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Hawaii?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Hawaii made an average of $38,860 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $29,990 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,520.