There is a whole variety of medical career paths for those who want to work as a medical assistant.
There are such options as Administrative Medical Assistant, Clinical Medical Assistant, Registered Medical Assistant, and Certified Medical Assistant career.
However, such a variety can make your choice pretty stressful as you need to learn about all options and choose the right one.
To make it easier for you, in this article, we’ve decided to gather some information about 4 different medical assistant’s careers.
There is also info about their specifics, certification requirements, as well as some training issues.
The most common types of medical assistants are:
- Administrative medical assistant;
- Clinical medical assistant;
- Registered medical assistant;
- Certified medical assistant.
In fact, clinical and administrative assistants are the 2 main categories of these specialists.
It is easy to suggest that administrative assistants work in offices and help with various administrative issues.
At the same time, clinical assistants work in clinical settings and support patients.
You can become a certified or registered medical assistant depending on your training and experience.
After reading this article, you’ll learn about all the important aspects of this career as well as crucial steps you need to take if you want to become a medical assistant.
Also, it will let you reveal some questions you may want to ask some of the medical assistant training schools in your area.
It may include such aspects as a training curriculum, available financial aid, and so on.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Ready To Request Information About Schools For Medical Assistant Training?
- 2 Administrative Medical Assistant Certification
- 3 Clinical Medical Assistant Certification
- 4 Registered Medical Assistant Certification
- 5 Certified Medical Assistant Certification
Ready To Request Information About Schools For Medical Assistant Training?
If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, first of all, you should look for training programs in your area.
There is a whole variety of schools that offer medical assistant programs around the USA.
You just need to choose the best one and start your training.
If you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right training program, you need to answer some questions such as:
- What does the ‘medical assistant’ term mean?
- What kind of education is required?
- How can you choose the right program?
- What disciplines do you need to take to become a qualified specialist?
- What is training like?
- Is there an internship or residency required?
- What kinds of jobs can you receive after completing your training?
- What salary and career options can you expect?
The most important point about choosing the right program is that you should collect all the available information about all the schools you are interested in.
Administrative Medical Assistant Certification
An administrative medical assistant career is a great option for people who are interested in different office technologies and enjoy working with other people.
When it comes to some small offices, there is only one medical assistant who manages phones, keeps records, makes appointments, handles office duties, and even checks patients.
Speaking of hospitals and large clinics, there is usually a whole team of medical assistants who handle all these responsibilities.
If you are interested in this career, you need to know that there are several skills and qualities that will be really helpful for you.
You should be able to deal with a busy working environment and be ready to spend lots of your time running around.
Nevertheless, administrative medical assistants usually have a greatly balanced combination of sitting at a desk and movement.
At the same time, clinical medical assistants usually move around much more than administrative medical assistants.
You need to know that there are schools and programs that are mainly focused on administrative issues.
It means that they are more suitable for those who are interested in administrative medical assisting.
In such a case, the curriculum is mainly focused on developing administrative skills together with learning about medical procedures.
Usually, such programs include such classes as medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology and so on.
After completing some required training, you can start looking for your first job as a medical assistant.
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) Exam
Before applying for an administrative medical assistant training, you need to obtain your high-school diploma or its equivalent.
Only after it, you can start looking for colleges and schools that offer certificate or Associate’s degree programs.
As soon as you complete your training, you can sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam that is held by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Just keep in mind that you need to pay a fee of $115 if you want to apply for the exam.
If you want to get ready for the test and check your knowledge, you can use guides and useful materials that are available at the AAMA website.
What Is the Next Step?
After obtaining your certification as an administrative medical assistant, you can start your jobhunting and look for some options in different medical settings.
You can choose to work as a part of a team in a large hospital or as the only medical assistant in a small practice.
It is up to you what option do you prefer.
Considering the incredible development of the medical sphere, you can expect a whole variety of great career options for qualified specialists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average salary of an administrative medical assistant is about $30 000 per year.
In fact, it is a pretty high wage as most entry-level jobs have lower salaries.
After starting your career, you’ll be able to find new goals for your professional training including various additional certifications.
It will let you increase your earning potential significantly.
Clinical Medical Assistant Certification
Speaking of clinical medical assistants, these specialists usually work with patients while supporting physicians.
Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) is responsible for communication with patients, preparing them for operations, maintaining equipment and so on.
Also, they closely work with such specialists as nurses and various care providers.
Usually, clinical medical assistants are pretty busy as they need to handle numerous tasks.
If you are OK with such a busy and stressful work, you need to look for the available medical assisting programs.
Working as a clinical medical assistant, you’ll be responsible for patients’ lives that’s why it is very important an appropriate training program.
In order to find the best training program, you need to do some good research.
You should make sure that after completing your training, you’ll be able to pass the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) held by the National Health-Careers Association (NHA).
To learn more about this exam and requirements, you can visit the NHA official website.
Clinical Medical Assistant Coursework
A good training program for clinical medical assistants should provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to have to be a qualified specialist in this sphere.
Also, you need to ensure that after completing it you’ll be qualified to sit for the CCMA exam and pass it successfully.
It means that you need to check whether the program you are interested in meets the state requirements as well as the standards for the exam.
It is a very important aspect so you need to pay lots of attention to it.
The exam usually covers such topics as:
- Anatomy and physiology;
- Administrative assisting;
- Basic Pharmacology;
- Core knowledge;
- Core skills;
- Communication & customer service;
- EKG and cardiovascular testing;
- General patient care;
- Infection control;
- Knowledge of health care systems and settings;
- Laws & ethics;
- Medical terminology;
- Patient education;
- Testing & lab procedures.
While looking pretty hefty, these disciplines are closely related when it comes to medical assisting.
Usually, good training programs cover all these disciplines so students can get ready for their future job.
Typically, such a training program can be completed in about 9-12 months when it comes to certificate level options.
However, applying for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you will need to spend more time on your training.
There are lots of schools that offer online training for medical assistants so you can advance your education while working and gaining some working experience.
You need to know that clinical medical assistants perform more duties so they need to have more skills.
Sometimes, clinical medical assistants can be qualified to perform the duties of administrative medical assistants.
It can be a great benefit as the modern healthcare sphere requires specialists that can perform various tasks.
Clinical medical assistants have almost the same employment and earning potential as administrative assistants.
To get some more concrete data, you need to check your local listings.
If you are interested in becoming a clinical medical assistant, you need to get in touch with schools in your area and learn about the programs they offer.
After gathering some actual data, you can decide which option is the best one.
Registered Medical Assistant Certification
As a medical assistant, you should consider getting registered through the American Medical Technologists Association.
Their RMA certification is a perfect way to show your qualifications and credibility.
If you want to become a Registered Medical Assistant, you need to complete an accredited training program or obtain at least 5 years of working experience as a medical assistant.
Military and current medical instructors can sit for this exam without having education or experience in the sphere.
More info about this option can be found on the website of the AMT.
Just keep in mind that it should be renewed every year and the renovation fee is about $50.
The RMA certification can provide you with numerous benefits including better career options so make sure to keep it updated.
How to Get Ready for the RMA Certification Test?
If you want to get your RMA certification, you need to pass the test.
To make this process less stressful, you need to get ready properly.
Below, there are some useful tips that will help you get ready for the RMA certification test avoiding lots of stress.
First of all, when getting ready for the test, you need to make a list of things you should take for the exam.
Most people tend to overthink this point while forgetting some essential things such as an ID card.
Also, if this certification is your goal, you need to make sure that your training program covers all the disciplines included in the exam.
Just make sure to compare the exam outline with your curriculum.
The list of the required disciplines includes:
- Anatomy & physiology;
- Administrative functions;
- Medical terminology;
- Human relations;
- Medical law;
- Clinical assisting;
- Medical ethics;
- Patient education.
Certified Medical Assistant Certification
Numerous professionals decide to earn their CMA through the American Association of Medical Assistants.
It is a perfect option for those who want to increase there salary.
If you want to learn more about this organization and certification, you can visit its official website.
Becoming a CMA member, you can get info about the latest trends in the sphere as well as a bunch of useful items.
You need to know that it is the only certification that requires students to complete a program that is accredited by the US Department of Education.
That is the main reason why most employers give preference to medical specialists with this certification.
After completing an approved training program, you can sit for the exam.
To do it, you need to submit an application and pay a fee that is $125.
You need to know that it should be renewed every 60 months.
To be able to renew it, you need to provide proof of continuing education that is formatted in the point system.
In total, you need to have 30 points that combine administrative, clinical, and general courses.
On the official website, you can get info about topics included in the exam and a percentage of questions for each topic.
Usually, about 28% of the questions are focused on professionalism, communication, psychology, law, risk management, ethics, and medical terminology.
One other important thing about this certification is that it is approved all over the country in all states.
While other types of certifications may vary from one state to another, the CMA certification is accepted anywhere in the USA.
If you want to obtain your CMA certification, you need to complete training at an approved school as well as an internship in a healthcare facility.
It is a very important point as you need to develop a whole bunch of important skills.
After obtaining your certification, you can improve your career options and increase your salary significantly.
If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, take your time and learn about schools in your area.
It is the first thing you should do as soon as you’ve decided to pursue this career.
There is a whole variety of schools that offer medical assistant training programs all over the country.
Make sure to learn all the available info about these programs so you can choose the best one.