Get all the information you need on how to become a certified medical assistant We’ll tell you what you need to do to get certified and how to maintain your certification.
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Medical assistants are in high demand due to the initiatives set forth by the Affordable Care Act This means there will be an increasing number of job opportunities for those who are certified medical assistants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In order to become a certified medical assistant there are a few steps that need to be completed.
What is a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are vital members of the healthcare team. They are responsible for patient care, administrative tasks, and clinical duties. Many medical assistants are certified by a professional organization such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To become a certified medical assistant, you must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the AAMA Certification Exam. Once you have passed the exam, you will be a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).
The AAMA offers two types of certification: the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). RMAs are certified through a joint program with the National Healthcare Association (NHA), while CMAs are only certified by the AAMA.
Both RMAs and CMAs must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the AAMA Certification Exam. The main difference between the two types of certification is that RMAs must also complete a clinical externship, while CMAs do not.
Duties of a Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, you will perform a variety of duties to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Your specific duties will vary depending on your employer and the state in which you work, but they may include taking and recording patients’ medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, updating patients’ medical records scheduling appointments and providing patient education. You also may be responsible for handling insurance forms and billing.
Education and Training Requirements
In order to become a certified medical assistant, you must complete an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam. Medical assistants are usually certified by one of six organizations:
-American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
-American Medical Technologists (AMT)
-National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
-National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
-Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
-Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
While certification is not required in all states, it is strongly recommended as it will give you an edge over non-certified candidates when applying for jobs. In addition, some employers may require certification as a condition of employment.
The first step to becoming a certified medical assistant is to graduate from an accredited program. Once you have completed an accredited program, you will need to pass an exam administered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To be eligible to take the Certification Examination for Medical Assistants, you must:
-Be a graduate of a medical assisting program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
-Submit an application to the AAMA along with the required fee.
-Have your transcripts sent directly to the AAMA from your medical assisting program.
-Be of good moral character.
The Certification Examination for Medical Assistants is a computer-based exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The examination covers the following content areas:
-Anatomy and Physiology
-Patient Rights and Confidentiality
With an aging population and advances in medical technology, the job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for medical assistants will grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024. If you’re thinking about a career in this field, now is a great time to get started.
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health care professionals. They typically work in doctors’ offices, clinics, and other outpatient care facilities. Depending on their specific duties and the size of the practice, they may be known by different titles, such as clinical assistant or medical office assistant.
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate or diploma from an accredited program. Although not required, some states have certification programs for medical assistants. Certification can show employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed to perform your job well.
Salaries for medical assistants vary by geographic region, type of employer, and level of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants was $31,540 in 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $43,870.
The median salary for medical assistants in 2017 was $31,540. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $43,870.
Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants are in high demand! The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of medical assistants will grow 19% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 With such promising job prospects, you might be wondering if becoming a medical assistant is the right career choice for you. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of being a medical assistant to help you make your decision.
1. Medical assistants are in high demand! The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of medical assistants will grow 19% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
2. With on-the-job training, you can become a medical assistant relatively quickly and easily. Many programs can be completed in as little as one year.
3. Medical assistants enjoy a versatile job role with several different responsibilities, so no two days are alike.
4. You can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and even research laboratories.
5. As a medical assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to help people every day and make a difference in their lives.
1. Working as a medical assistant can be emotionally demanding as you deal with sick patients and their families on a daily basis.
2. You may be exposed to blood and other bodily fluids as part of your job responsibilities.
3. You may work long hours or irregular shifts since many healthcare facilities are open 24/7.
4.. Your job duties may vary depending on your employer’s needs and expectations, which can make it difficult to predict what your day-to-day tasks will be
Now that you know the steps to take to get certified as a medical assistant, it’s time to get started on your journey. Remember to research certification programs, study for and pass the certification exam, and stay up-to-date on your continuing education requirements. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming a certified medical assistant.
certification as a medical assistant.
The first step is to research the certification process and make sure you understand the requirements. The next step is to find a reputable training program that will prepare you for the certification exam. Once you have completed your training, you will need to take and pass the certified medical assistant exam before you can officially call yourself a CMA.