Hawaii Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants can be found in almost all of Hawaii’s medical facilities: doctor’s practices, hospitals, urgent care facilities and others.  They help these places run smoothly, by assisting other personnel.  The medical assistant’s responsibilities are often divided into two categories: administrative tasks and clinical tasks.

The administrative aspect of being a medical assistant includes:

  • Contacting patients prior to appointments
  • Welcoming new patients
  • Gathering insurance information from patients
  • Contacting other medical facilities

The clinical aspect of working as a medical assistant in Hawaii can include:

  • Drawing patients’ blood
  • Administering nonintraveneous shots
  • Prepping patients for the doctor
  • Assisting with patient examinations

Certification for Medical Assistants in Hawaii

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Programs:

  • BS in Health and Wellness

There are no formal requirements for medical assistants in Hawaii, although most employers will require a GED or higher degree.  Medical assistants can work in any facility without being certified, but those that are certified often earn more and have greater responsibilities than those that are not.  People who want to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) should look into each of the following organizations.

Most certified medical assistants are certified by the AAMA, although training with the other agencies is worth considering.  Here is how the AAMA handles certification.

1.  Prospective CMAs Enroll in a Class

Prior to registering for an exam with the AAMA, prospective CMAs must enroll in a class.  There are several classes offered in Hawaii, and students can also take one online.  Anyone taking an online course, however, must complete a brief clinical internship as well.  Before enrolling in any CMA training program, prospective students should confirm that the program is AAMA-recognized.

2.  Prospective CMAs Apply for the Exam

Once they have completed the necessary training, prospective CMAs should download the AAMA’s test application and submit it to the association’s offices.  An exam fee must also be sent.  Applicants should expect a response within about a month.

3. Prospective CMAs Schedule an Exam Appointment

20 days after a prospective CMA has been cleared to take the exam, he or she should receive an email from the AAMA.  This email will contain details on how to make an appointment to take the test, as well as a permit to take the test.  Applicants then have 90 days to take the CMA exam.

4.  Prospective CMAs Study

Throughout this process, prospective CMAs should continually be reviewing their notes on working as a CMA and taking practice exams.  Extra resources for review can be found online or obtained through a training school.

5.  Prospective CMAs Become Certified

In order to be certified as a medical assistant, prospective CMAs must pass the AAMA’s exam.  Those who fail a portion of it can retake that section.  Once certified, all CMAs are listed on the AAMA’s list of CMAs online, so employers can easily verify certification.

CMAs’ Career Outlook

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Hawaii

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

2,790

3,340

+20%

90

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

As the chart shows, the need for CMAs is expected to grow slower in Hawaii than throughout the rest of the United States.  However, a 20 percent increase in the need for CMAs is well above the current growth rate of most career fields.  On average, there should be 90 CMAs should be hired each year through 2018.

CMAs’ Salary

Although the growth in demand for CMAs in Hawaii is lower than the national average, CMAs in Hawaii earn substantially more than their colleagues in other states.  The chart below is a comparison between the annual salary of CMAs in Hawaii and across the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CMAs in Hawaii earned a median salary of $16.60 an hour.  Nearly all CMAs in the state made between $25,000 and $46,000 that year, which is well above the national average of $20,000 to $40,000.

Recertification and Transferring Credentials

The AAMA’s policy stipulates that all CMAs must be recertified every five years.  This is a fairly simple process, which is described on the AAMA’s recertification page.

Transferring one’s credentials within the United States is a simple process. Since the AAMA is a nationally-recognized association, CMAs can transfer their certification to any state.  Since the certification records are housed at the AAMA’s offices, this process is often much simpler and quicker than transferring other records, which requires states’ bureaucracies to communicate with each other.

Local Chapters

There are no AAMA chapters in Hawaii, so CMAs must communicate with the AAMA’s central offices.

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