- 1.What is a Clinical Medical Assistant?
- 2.The Different Types of CMA Programs
- 3.How to Become a CMA
- 4.The Benefits of Becoming a CMA
- 5.The CMA Certification Process
- 6.CMA Exam Preparation
- 7.CMA Job Opportunities
- 8.The Future of the CMA Profession
- 9.Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Medical Assistant Programs
- 10.Additional Resources for Clinical Medical Assistants
Considering a career in medical assisting? This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about clinical medical assistant programs, from coursework to certification.
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1.What is a Clinical Medical Assistant?
Clinical Medical assistants are healthcare professionals who work alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical staff in outpatient care facilities. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, including taking patients’ medical histories, measuring vital signs, administering injections and vaccinations, drawing blood, and assisting with minor surgical procedures.
Most clinical medical assistants have at least a certificate or diploma from an accredited program. Some have completed associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in medical assisting. Although not required, certification by a professional organization such as the National Healthcare Association or the American Association of Medical Assistants can give clinical medical assistants a competitive edge when seeking employment.
2.The Different Types of CMA Programs
Different types of CMA programs can be found at community colleges, technical colleges, and online. There are also several hospitals that offer CMA training programs. The most common type of CMA training program is the one offered at community colleges. These programs usually take between one and two years to complete.
Technical colleges also offer CMA training programs. These programs are typically shorter than the ones offered at community colleges. They usually last between six and twelve months. Some technical colleges also offer online CMA training programs. These programs are typically shorter than the ones offered at community colleges and technical colleges. They usually last between four and eight weeks.
Hospitals that offer CMA training programs are typically larger hospitals that have a need for more CMAs. These programs usually last between eight and sixteen weeks.
3.How to Become a CMA
How to Become a CMA: 3 Steps
Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) is a three-step process that includes completing an accredited medical assistant program, passing the CMA Certification Exam, and then applying for state certification.
Step 1: Complete an Accredited Medical Assistant Program
The first step to becoming a CMA is to complete an accredited medical assistant program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges and technical schools, and they take around two years to complete. During your training, you’ll take classes in topics like human anatomy, physiology, Medical Terminology and office procedures. You’ll also get hands-on experience in a clinical setting, working with patients and performing tasks like taking vital signs and giving injections.
Step 2: Pass the CMA Certification Exam
Once you’ve completed an accredited medical assistant program, you’ll need to pass the CMA Certification Exam to earn your certification. This exam is administered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible to take the exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program or have at least five years of work experience as a medical assistant.
The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics like medical ethics, patient confidentiality, and office safety. You’ll have three hours to complete the exam, and you’ll need to score at least 70% to pass.
Step 3: Apply for State Certification
The final step in becoming a CMA is applying for state certification. While certification is not required in all states, it may be necessary to practice in some states or to work in certain healthcare facilities. To apply for certification, you’ll need to submit an application to your state’s regulatory board along with proof of your completion of an accredited medical assistant program and passing score on the CMA Certification Exam.
4.The Benefits of Becoming a CMA
There are many benefits to becoming a CMA, including the potential for higher earnings and increased job satisfaction. CMAs also enjoy greater job security than many other medical professionals. The following are some of the main benefits of becoming a CMA:
1.Higher Earnings: CMAs generally earn more than medical assistants who have not completed a clinical medical assistant program. In fact, CMAs can earn up to 20% more than their non-CMA counterparts.
2.Increased Job Satisfaction: CMAs often report higher levels of job satisfaction than medical assistants who have not completed a clinicalmedical assistant program. This is likely due to the fact that CMAs have a greater understanding of the medical field and are better equipped to handle the demands of the job.
3.Greater Job Security: Due to their increased knowledge and skills, CMAs often enjoy greater job security than medical assistants who have not completed a clinical medical assistant program. This means that CMAs are less likely to be laid off during times of economic downturns.
4.Flexible Schedule: Many CMAs enjoy a flexible schedule that allows them to work around their personal commitments. This can be particularly beneficial for those with family obligations or other time-consuming responsibilities.
5.The CMA Certification Process
The process of becoming a Certified Medical Assistant is not difficult, but it does require dedication and a thorough understanding of the requirements. The first step is to complete an accredited clinical medical assistant program. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass the certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To be eligible to take the AAMA’s Certification Exam, you must:
Be a graduate of an accredited medical assisting program
Have completed at least five years of full-time employment as a medical assistant, or
Have completed at least 30 semester hours of accredited college coursework in medical assisting, or
Have completed a combination of work experience and college coursework totaling at least five years
The AAMA offers three different options for taking the Certification Exam:
The Traditional Exam- This is a computer-based exam offered year-round at testing centers across the country.
The Challenge Exam- This is a paper-and-pencil exam offered four times per year.
The Recertification Exam- This is a computer-based exam offered year-round to those who are already certified by the AAMA.
To maintain your certification, you will need to recertify every 60 months by completing 60 recertification points. These points can be earned through continued education, volunteering, and participation in professional development activities.
6.CMA Exam Preparation
Although the CMA (AAMA) certification Exam is not required for employment, most employers prefer or require certification. Clinical Medical Assistants who have successfully completed a medical assistant program and passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam are credentialed by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
The CMA (AAMA) credential denotes excellence in medical assisting and signifies that the individual has met rigorous standards of professionalism and ethical conduct. The credential is granted only to those individuals who have met specific eligibility criteria and have successfully completed a written examination administered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.
7.CMA Job Opportunities
Clinical medical assistant programs prepare students for work in a doctor’s office, clinic, or other healthcare setting. Once you complete your training, you’ll be able to work as a medical assistant, providing basic patient care and administrative support.
The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for medical assistants will grow 29% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. In 2019, there were 727,600 medical assistants employed in the United States By 2029, that number is expected to grow to 934,800.
There are many reasons for this strong job growth. As the population ages, there will be an increasing demand for healthcare services. More physicians are expected to enter solo or group practice, rather than work for hospitals or other organizations, and they will need more support staff. Also, as new technologies are developed and more procedures are performed in outpatient settings rather than in hospitals, the need for medical assistants will continue to grow.
8.The Future of the CMA Profession
The need for medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years. This rise in demand is due to several factors. The first is an aging population. As people live longer, they will need more medical care. The second is an increase in the number of people with private health insurance This is because the Affordable Care Act will add millions of newly insured patients to the health care system. The third factor is a growing emphasis on preventive care and early diagnosis. This means that more people will visit primary care doctors, which will require more medical assistants. Finally, more medical procedures are being performed on an outpatient basis, which also requires the services of a medical assistant.
9.Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Medical Assistant Programs
1. What is a clinical medical assistant?
A clinical medical assistant is a type of medical assistant that works in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or doctor’s office. Clinical medical assistants typically have more responsibilities than administrative medical assistants, and may include tasks such as taking patient vital signs, administering injections, and assisting with minor surgical procedures.
2. What is the difference between a clinical medical assistant and an administrative medical assistant?
Administrative medical assistants typically work in doctors’ offices and perform tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling billing and insurance paperwork, and answering patient phone calls. Clinical medical assistants, on the other hand, work in hospitals or other clinical settings and have more responsibilities that may include taking patient vital signs, administering injections, or assisting with minor surgical procedures.
3. What kinds of duties will I be responsible for as a clinical medical assistant?
As a clinical medical assistant, you may be responsible for taking patient vital signs, administering injections, assisting with minor surgical procedures, or other tasks as assigned by your supervisor.
4. What education or training do I need to become a clinical medical assistant?
Mostclinical medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or equivalent; however, some employers may require postsecondary education or training. Many community colleges offer certificate or diploma programs in medical assisting that can be completed in about one year. These programs typically include coursework in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and medical office procedures. Some states require clinical medical assistants to be certified; however, certification is not required in all states.
5. What are the job prospects for clinical medical assistants?
The job prospects for clinical medical assistants are expected to be good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment ofmedical assistants will grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.* This growth is due to the increasing demand for healthcare services as the population continues to grow and age.*
10.Additional Resources for Clinical Medical Assistants
Below are links to other helpful websites and articles for those interested in becoming or working as a clinical medical assistant:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed information on job outlook, duties, and salary for medical assistants, including clinical medical assistants: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm
This detailed guide from the Association of Medical Assistants provides an overview of the profession, including information on certification, duties, and career paths: https://www.amaboardofmedicalspecialties.com/medical-assistant-careers
This guide from the American Association of Medical Assistants provides an overview of what clinical medical assistants do on a day-to-day basis, including common duties and responsibilities: https://www.aama-ntl.org/clinical medical-assistant