How to Get Massachusetts Medical Assistant Certification

Find out how to get Massachusetts medical assistant certification so you can start working in the medical field.

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Introduction

Medical assistants are unlicensed individuals who perform basic clinical and clerical tasks in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities. Although most medical assistants have postsecondary education, some states, including Massachusetts, allow medical assistants to work without formal training or certification.

A medical assistant certificate program generally takes one year or less to complete and is available from community colleges and technical schools. These programs include classroom instruction and hands-on training in a healthcare setting. Topics of study include Medical Terminology physiology, pharmacology, billing and coding procedures, administrative office procedures and medical ethics.

After completing a certificate program, graduates can take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible for the CMA exam, candidates must have graduated from a medical assistant program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Candidates who have not completed an accredited program may be eligible for the exam if they have worked as a medical assistant for five years or more.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants are unlicensed individuals who perform non-clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. They work primarily in outpatient settings such as medical offices and clinics. Duties include greeting patients, maintaining medical records collecting and processing laboratory specimens, updating immunization records, taking medical histories and vital signs, scheduling appointments etc.

Duties of a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform many duties to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Their responsibilities vary with the size, location, and type of practice. Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most states regulate medical assisting.

Most medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative duties. However, some MAs may specialize in either clinical or administrative work. For example, those who work in large clinics or pediatric practices may provide more direct patient care than those who work in small offices or with senior citizens. Similarly, those who work in billing departments or as insurance coordinators may have more contact with patients’ financial information than with their Medical records The following are examples of typical duties for clinical medical assistants:

-Prepare examination rooms for patient visits, including setting up necessary equipment and ensuring that instruments are sterilized
-Prepare patients for examination and treatment by taking blood pressure, weight, and temperature; listing pertinent information about their medical histories; answering their questions; and ex- plaining treatment procedures
-Assist physicians during examinations by handing them instruments and materials they need; performing simple laboratory tests; removing sutures; applying dressings; preparing hot packs or cold compresses; holding retractors; observing patients during procedures to report reactions or changes in condition
– Instruct patients on taking medication or using inhalers
-Perform routine diagnostic tests such as urine analysis or pregnancy tests
-Schedule appointments and maintain office logs

Administrative duties may include the following:
-Greeting patients when they arrive for appointments
-Answering telephones, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing patients, and coding insurance forms
-Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
-Maintaining patients’ medical records

Educational Requirements

To become a medical assistant in Massachusetts, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. You also must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Certification

Certification for medical assistants in Massachusetts is voluntary. However, certification may improve your employment opportunities. Although there are no legal certification requirements to work as a medical assistant in Massachusetts, many employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants.

There are several NCCA-accredited certifying organizations that offer examinations for medical assistants. Examples of these organizations include the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), the National Healthcare Association (NHA), and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential from American Medical Technologists (AMT).

In order to take the examination for any of these credentialing organizations, you must first meet certain eligibility requirements, such as completing an accredited medical assisting program and/or having a certain amount of work experience. Once you have met the eligibility requirements, you can register for the examination.

After passing the examination, you will need to complete any required continuing education credits in order to maintain your certification. The number of credits required and frequency with which they need to be completed vary by organization.

Job Outlook

Jobs for medical assistants are expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A growing and aging population will need more medical services, and as a result, will need more medical assistants. Many doctors are likely to hire medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties so that they can see more patients.

Salary

In Massachusetts, medical assistants make a median salary of $17.36 per hour, or $36,140 per year. This is higher than the average salary for medical assistants in the United States which is $16.01 per hour, or $33,310 per year. However, salaries for medical assistants can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of employer.

Conclusion

In order to become a certified medical assistant in Massachusetts, you will need to complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the certification exam. Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to apply for jobs and start working in this rewarding career.

Resources

To become a medical assistant in Massachusetts, you will need to complete an accredited medical assistant training program and pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). With your certification, you will be able to work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician offices.

The first step in becoming a certified medical assistant is to find an accredited training program. There are many programs available online and in-person, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass the CMA exam. This exam tests your knowledge of medical assisting procedures and practices.

Once you have passed the CMA exam, you will be able to apply for jobs in Massachusetts. You may also be eligible for additional certification through the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT). These organizations offer additional exams that can help you show potential employers that you are knowledgeable and skilled in your field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there an age limit to get certified?
A: No, there is no age limit to get certified.

Q: What are the requirements to become a certified medical assistant in Massachusetts?
A: You must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must complete an accredited medical assisting program. In addition, you must pass the certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Q: How long does it take to become a certified medical assistant in Massachusetts?
A: It usually takes about two years to complete the educational requirements and obtain certification.

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