teaching in classroom

Kara Osada-D’Avella, owner of Island CPR, teaches a class with the help of UH Hilo North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center’s new 360-degree video conference equipment. (Courtesy photo North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is now offering a medical assistant training program using a new hybrid format of online, in-person and live video conferencing sections. The program is open to community members who want to further their interests in healthcare fields while increasing their chances of obtaining a job at a local healthcare facility.

The medical assistant course, offered through the UH Hilo North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center in Honokaʻa, covers a broad range of skills including coding, computer skills, blood draws, electrocardiography, basic injections, pharmacology work, therapeutic communications, healthcare records and first aid CPR training.

“The way to guarantee enrollment and personal advancement is by listening to what employers like Hāmākua-Kohala Health are asking for, and then collaboratively creating programs and courses like these that are meeting employers’ skill demands,” said Christine Hijirida, special projects coordinator in the non-credit course.

For the in-class portion, enrolled students go to the outreach center for four days to receive hands-on training. The courses focus on taking vitals (blood pressure, weight and temperature), drawing blood, vaccinations and injections, using hygiene and personal protective equipment in the work space and conducting electrocardiograms used in determining heart rates and rhythms. Students also learn administrative nursing skills.

The program was specifically designed to fill in the skills gap that employers have identified in the local labor market.

To learn more about the medical assistant training program go to UH Hilo Stories.

–Written by Leah Sherwood, a graduate student in the tropical conservation biology and environmental science program at UH Hilo.