Medical assistant certification: I have one now what to do or if I don’t have then how to get it? there must be thousands of questions rising in your mind but before we talk about these questions we should know about the different types of certifications available in the market also the requirements of each of those certification programs, and first we will figure out what exactly the profession demands. If you want some genuine and depth knowledge you can go and checkout medical school.
There is a big misconception that a medical assistant certification is equivalent to a nursing degree. Well, although you may have to perform several tasks that nurses mostly perform in medical facilities, your job role would be widely different from that of the nurse. We will discuss everything related to the certification process and the profession in detail.
Medical Assistant Certification – Stated With All Points
While medical assistants are not accredited, the American Association of Medical Assistants and American Medical Technologists grants medical assistant certification or registration.
When more doctors’ practices move to the use of electronic health records(EHRs), medical assistants need to adapt to the transition.
Employers choose to become licensed medical assistants, and some states allow them to take any medical assistant certification courses or pass an examination before they can perform tasks such as taking X-rays or administering injections.
Your office duties will expand as you learn the software and evaluate the data, enhancing overall health care knowledge. Depending on what you’re most interested in, there are many directions you take to carry on your career.
For example, you can be able to branch out as a health information technician if you love to work with information and record keeping.
At the other end of the continuum, you can continue with schooling and preparation to become a nurse or physician assistant. According to the BLS, in the following settings, the highest concentration of medical assistant jobs is in healthcare offices.
What to Expect?
Medical assistants are critical members of a health care team, from monitoring vital signs and conducting diagnostic tests to welcoming patients and arranging appointments. You will be filling a number of clinical and managerial tasks on a typical day at work.
As far as the quality of electronic health records (EHRs) in offices are concerned, assistants would need to be experts and reliable in record keeping.
Where you’ll work?
Once you done with medical assistant certification courses and become a certified MA then it comes where you will get a job? You would mostly find yourself working in the following places:
- Nursing homes,
- Doctor clinics,
- Emergency rooms,
The degree you’ll need to practice
Generally, any individual can get started in the medical assistance field as soon as he or she passes his high school. However, in most scenarios, employers generally demand candidates with a certificate from an accredited program in some states. This is where a medical assistant certification program proves to be valuable.
The median annual salary of an accredited medical assistant is approximately $32,480. A certified medical assistant salary information given is based on a national median. Actual salaries may vary greatly in the field, location, years of experience, and other factors based on specialization.
Environment of Work
A normal day in a career as a medical assistant is never without excitement. Your primary duty as a medical assistant is to ensure everything is running smoothly. You’re a valuable extra pair of hands for nurses and health officials, with a highly flexible skillset.
In this position, you will need to carry out the typical tasks that have been listed below:
- Interact with doctors, patients, nurses, medical billing staff, pharmacists, and insurance agents.
- Lagging of supplies
- Telephone response
- Blood draws
- Explain to patients about their condition
You will need to solve issues in a fast-paced medical assistant job and be everywhere at once while staying calm and professional. There may arise numerous emergency situations like the recent novel coronavirus pandemic. In such future scenarios, you must be ready to gear up your efforts.
Online Medical Assistant Certification : Needs
Medical assistance is typically not a profession licensed/certified by the State. This means that, usually, medical assistants do not require formal qualifications or any medical assistant certification requirements to work in the field. An exception to this is medical assistants who perform various duties, such as phlebotomy or x-rays, as specific training and certification in these areas may be required by state legislation.
However, medical assistants can still distinguish themselves by volunteering national certification as highly qualified professionals with some degree of knowledge and expertise in the profession. Besides professional recognition for medical assistants, employers frequently try nationally accredited medical assistants, for a variety of reasons. In those particular situation a medical assistant certification is must needed which can be acquire from universities as well as through online programs.
For example, the AAMA notes that a number of managed care agencies are now entrusting employees with unique requirements to hire qualified medical assistants. Besides, as of 2012, Medicare and Medicaid Services Centers mandated that only certified medical assistants are permitted to access their computerized program into the laboratory, radiology, and in terms of medical orders.
What Qualification do you Need to be a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)?
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is one of the most commonly recognized national-level online medical assistant certification program for the professionals.
Because of the litigious nature of the U.S., many employers are now seeking medical assistants who hold the CMA as it offers evidence, says the AAMA, that the employer exercises a high degree of care and caution in their medical assisting job procedures.
Medical assistants must be able to satisfy a certain number of criteria to become a CMA. Candidates should have completed a medical assistance certification program (maybe a one-year certificate or diploma program, or a two-year associate degree program) approved by either:
- The Allied Health Education Program Accreditation Commission (CAAHEP);
- The Schools for Health Education Accreditation Bureau (ABHES)
Candidates must take the Certified Medical Assistant Certification Test and pass it.
Prometric offers computer-based testing services for the CMA Certification Examination. The CMA must be renewed every five years, and recertification relies on either passing the CMA Certification / Recertification Test or completing the continuing education.
Renewing a CMA certificate requires a minimum of 60 recertification points. Should accumulate at least 30 points:
- 10 Administrative points
- 10 points in clinic
- Overall: 10 points
The remaining 30 points will accumulate in any of the content areas listed above. Also, of the 60 recertification points, at least 30 must be accumulated from continuing education units approved by AAMA. One unit of continuing education, one communication hour, or one hour of college credit equals one level of recertification.
The Qualification Needed for Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
American Medical Technologists’ (AMT) accredited Registered Medical Assistant certification is reserved for medical assistants who meet one of the following criteria and who take and pass the RMA exam:
- Education: Recent graduates (within the last 4 years) from a U.S.-approved medical assistance program must be candidates. Department of Education, Accreditation Council for Higher Education, or by the Board of Directors of AMT. The curriculum will provide at least 720 clock hours of medical support, plus a minimum of 160 hours of clinical externship.
- Military: Candidates must be recent graduates within the United States Armed Forces (in the last 4 years) from a structured medical services training program.
- Work Experience: Candidates must be a high school graduate, and in 5 of the last 7 years they must have been working as a full-time medical assistant. Job training needs to include both clinical and managerial roles.
- Teacher: Candidates have to be a registered instructor in an approved medical assisting program and have completed an instructional medical assistant certification course in a medical assisting discipline. Additionally, candidates must have at least 5 years of teaching experience in a discipline of medical assistance.
- Additional Recognized Examination: Candidates must have taken and passed the medical assistance test of another credential agency recognized by the AMT Board of Directors.
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Certification
The NCMA (National Certified Medical Assistant), provided by the NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing), is reserved for medical assistants who meet one of the following qualifications and can take and pass the NCMA exam:
- Must be a current student or a recent graduate (in the last 10 years) from a medical assistant certification program at a school accredited by the NCCT?
- Must be an international physician or RN with U.S. equivalence recorded over the last 10 years
- Should be a physician assistant teacher with 10 years’ or more experience
- A physician assistant training program in the U.S. military must have been completed within the last 10 years
- Should have at least two years of verifiable full-time experience in the last 10 years as a physician assistant practitioner.
Clinical Medical Assistant Accredited (CCMA) Certificate
The NCMA (National Certified Medical Assistant), provided by the NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing), is reserved for the medical assistants who meet any of the qualifications listed as follows:
- Will have a secondary school certificate or the equivalent
- Should have successfully completed a training course or one year of physician assistant job experience
Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Medical assistants working for specialty practitioners can opt for certification through one of the following:
- American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants accredited Podiatric Medical Assistant, Accredited (PMAC): Applicants must be a podiatric medical assistant who has been a member of the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants in good standing for at least 90 days and has been working in a podiatry office.
- Joint Commission on Allied Health Workers in Ophthalmology accredited Ophthalmic Assistant (COA): Applicants may apply for the COA certification through the Career Development Tool (JCAT), a customized learning aid that helps medical assistants be qualified to take the COA test.
After getting medical assistant certification you may have thousands of career choices. A medical assistant’s profession is a highly rewarding profession which offers some of the most flexible career opportunities in healthcare. Most medical assistants work in the offices of the physicians, while the rest can be found in the state, local, and private hospitals and outpatient care centers.
You may be expected to work evenings, weekends, or holidays depending on the facility you work in. This is rare in a doctor’s office but appropriate in hospitals and healthcare facilities that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Work at the front desk, performing a number of administrative tasks.
For building a career in the clinical field after getting medical assistant certification, you will be required to perform a wide range of tasks that vary from taking vital signs to helping patients on medical treatments. Here are six significant work goals that you might expect as a medical assistant to accomplish.
Develop relations with patients
Being a great listener is among the most significant tasks that medical assistant certification program teaches you. If they see a patient once a year or many times a month, medical assistants have an ear understanding for patients who go through regular doctor exams or deal with chronic illness.
Effective medical assistants know in their responses when to speak, when to listen and how to suit a patient’s mood or personality. The relationships they create with patients can have a positive impact both on the attitude of the patient and on the credibility of the medical office.
Review Health history of patients
As a physician assistant, one of the most important duties is to keep patient medical records accurate. You must report the current weight and blood pressure of a patient, and key in a computer database their pre-exam answers to the interview. You may also be responsible for filing patient medical reports and for adding physician or nurse written accounts based on lab tests.
Prepare Medical Testing Rooms
On the clinical side of the medical assistant’s duties, preparing medical test rooms is a top priority. This requires a number of steps, from disposing of contaminated supplies to sterilizing medical tools. Medical assistants might also perform the following tasks:
- Restore medical equipment and tools
- Arrange check-room tools
- Set up laboratory trays required for a patient’s examination
- Manage X-Rays and Laboratory Tests
- You’ll also arrange for laboratory services as a medical assistant. Some medical assistants can collect and prepare laboratory specimens, and perform basic laboratory tests, depending on their qualifications and their employer’s orders.
- In addition, many play a role in patient X-rays, as coordinators with the medical imaging team or in helping with X-ray planning and growth.
- Drawing blood, delivering injections, administering medication, removing sutures, changing dressings – any number of these tasks may be completed by clinical medical assistants.
- You may also clarify medical procedures to patients and advise them on food conditions, medications, and other areas related to their specific health condition.
Being Tech Savvy
Today’s technology in healthcare is not what it used to be even a few decades ago. More health care services and procedures are switching from paper records to electronic health records (EHRs).
Medical assistants entering the field should be prepared to manage the records of patients in a digital format. If you’re used to dealing with hard copies, you’ll find that EHRs provide plenty of advantages, from real-time updates to streamlining provider communication.
As a medical assistant, you will input patient information into a database, such as diagnoses, medical history, treatment plans, test results, and dates of immunization. An EHR can be accessed from anywhere (safely) which makes it easier for multiple practitioners to see the same details.
Medical assistants should be prepared for numerous other evolving technologies as well. These days, they communicate via video and email with patients. There’s also a medical assistant app that trains for online medical assistant certification qualification exams.
Many medical assistants also use certain software programs that provide modules such as instructions for patient discharge and scheduling and management of referrals.
Specialized Support Care Duties
Although most medical assistants work in primary care, others are trained in a specific healthcare field such as ophthalmology and podiatry. Many of the key tasks mentioned above will be part of your day, but you will also carry out specialist tasks:
- Ophthalmology and optometry: Provide patient support and show how contact lenses can be inserted, removed, and cared for.
- Podiatry: You’ll help with foot castings and x-rays. During surgeries, medical assistants are often present to assist the podiatrist.
- Chiropractic: A chiropractic medical assistant’s tasks range from doing blood to performing certain patient therapies, such as ultrasound and traction.
- OB/GYN: You’ll be helping a female physician in this setting. Often, medical assistants provide support during Pap examinations and minor surgeries.
Medical Assistant Certification Programs : Choose the Right One
Getting medical assistant certification is not the major problem but choosing a correct programs will definitely gonna confuse you. Will you have to take the easiest and most straightforward path to the job market with a medical assistant certification or diploma, or take your time in a degree program with an associate? No other period is necessarily better than now for medical assistant training, as the world and the United States of America need more number of highly-qualified professionals in the medical assistance field.
So the question becomes, is the profession right for you?
What to look for
Your physician assistant training program will prepare you for a number of roles in an atmosphere of the hospital, clinic, or private medical practice. Your work duties will range from taking vital signs to arranging patient appointments and you will need medical assistant training that encompasses a variety of administrative activities as well as procedures for patient care.
You will also be having plenty of real-world experience in a hospital or doctor’s office during your outsourcing.
Training as a Medical Assistant
A physician assistant is the most flexible health care worker in any healthcare environment, performing both clinical and administrative tasks. What are the steps to become a clinician?
Ask yourself if this is the best career choice for you!
Often, physician assistants facilitate medical appointments by escorting patients to exam rooms, taking vital signs, and preparing the room for the next medical team member. They also perform a range of office duties, from coding medical records to arranging visits to the workplace.
As a medical assistant, you’ll need good interpersonal skills when you deal with patients in pain and distress. They will also work closely with other healthcare professionals, frequently facing a lot of pressure. Many characteristics that will serve you well are your analytical skills (crucial to understanding medical charts and diagnoses) and the ability to work in detail.
Enroll in a Training Program for Medical Assistants
Entry into the profession usually requires a credential or diploma. Many states do not have standardized educational standards so on the description, but employers would want to see physician assistant training. You can take part in a medical assistant training program at a local college, a career college, or online.
The curriculum may include laboratory and/or clinical workshops providing hands-on blood drawing activities, collecting vital statistics, and assisting with routine medical procedures.
Become a Physician Assistant
Taking the time to get medical assistant certification and stand out for employers. To qualify for the designation of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), you will need to attend a program accredited by an external agency and pass a national examination administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Such roles are the sole responsibility of licensed medical assistants. For example: in 2012, the Medicare and Medicaid Services Centers ruled that only “credential medical assistants” could access the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program’s computerized system with medicine, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging orders.
Mobile Medical Assistance Services
Ideal for adults who juggle family and work obligations, online health care programs free you from the trouble of traveling to campus. You can sign in to listen to lectures (at your convenience or at set times), stream videos, view slideshows and lectures, and more. You can also communicate with the teacher and other students through an online community.
As an online student, at times that fit best for you, you can do your homework — early in the morning when the house is sleeping, waiting for the children’s soccer practice to end, or in the evening when they go to bed.
Most of the medical assistant certification online programs are partnering with local health centers. It is where you can complete your health needs, learn hands-on skills such as blood pressure assessment, perform simple laboratory activities, and use a microscope. You can also have X-rays tested. You’ll know the ropes of a medical office all the while, record keeping to insurance collection.
Your degree or certificate will not list the fact it’s been earned online. Potential employers are more worried about the mastery of the content for this in-demand capability-not the process of delivery.
But make sure it is approved before you participate in any medical help program. This approval stamp from a third party shows the course provider fulfils essential consistency and rigor requirements.
Medical Assistant Certification Courses : With following Curriculum
- Patient Care – The first person a patient sees in a clinical setting is often a medical assistant. This course deals with the fundamentals of care delivery: recording vital signs, charting, measuring, and a simple physical examination.
- Intercultural Communications – Take a look at basic psychology as it applies to health care, and consider the different cultural perspectives on disease, stress, and treatment.
- Clinical and diagnostic processes – Make sure that you learn how to administer an electrocardiogram, ranging from positioning the patient to placing the leads that measure heart rate. You will study the heart cycle and learn how to detect and interpret emergencies.
- Anatomy & Physiology – learn about the functions of the human body as you become fluent in the anatomy language. This course also covers diseases and related body-system tests that you will learn to name.
- Front Office 101– From medical appointments to machine-specific maintenance records, investigate the processes and procedures that keep an office moaning.
- Sterile Techniques – After the successful completion of this course, you’ll be prepared to assist a physician with a minor operation. Learn about sterile standards and techniques, surgical equipment and patient preparedness and monitoring
- Intro to Medical Billing and Insurance Coding – learn how to interpret the coding of medical insurance to decode and file claims successfully.
- This particular medical assistant certification course will provide an overview of all types of medical insurance, from the organizations of health management to Medicare and Medicaid.
- Medical Law and Ethics – To get to know the legal terms and concepts in a healthcare environment. The coursework would include anonymity, risk control, medical history, documentation, and more.
- Medication administration — how would you calculate dosages of the medication and deliver them to a patient correctly? This course of medical assistant certification covers all factors including drug labels, drug-administration rights, and hands-on practice in giving oral medicines, injections, and more.
- Pharmacology – Explore this discipline ‘s concepts including the sources, properties, uses, and effects of drugs. You can also hear about laws and legislative classifications, including proper drug storage and handling.
- Medical Assistants’ Disease and Pathology – Review anatomical structures and terminology, and learn about some of the most common diseases and disorders of different body systems
- Phlebotomy for Medical Assistants – Learn blood processing theory and practice including cardiovascular system anatomy and physiology. You’ll also get to practice patient engagement, choosing the correct location, and picking various blood collection methods.
Types of Assistant Health Programmes
Here are the different types of medical assistant health programs:
- Certificate or Diploma Plan Program duration: Nine months to a year
Offered at: Technical schools and community colleges.
What the program offers: a medical assistant certification programs will give you the vital skills you need to trustfully join the workforce. Your training should be designed specifically for a career as a physician assistant and will not take up your time in liberal arts courses that do not contribute directly to your career goals
- Associate Training in Emergency Assistance
Program duration: Two years of Associate-level Physician Assistant Degree programs
Where the programs are available: Career schools and community colleges
What the program offers: You will learn some basic skills, similar to the credential program mentioned above, that are necessary for a medical assistant position. There will also be a general education curriculum in your studies that will improve your extensive understanding and brand value among prospective employers.
Subjects for a Medical Assistant Certification Program
Here’s an example of the course work from the 90-credit Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree of Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Medical Assistance:
- Human Biology with Lab– This course explores human anatomy and physiology, equipping you to recognize and name structures, organ systems, and the interrelationships between them. You will be studying pathologies and diseases in humans.
- Pathogens carried by phlebotomy and blood– study the circulatory system and processing of blood including laboratory protection procedures and prevention of infections. You will practice blood drawing, proper test handling, and help patient education.
- Social Science– Choose from Business, Crime, Psychological, Psychology, Sociology, and Civic Engagement courses. Master the study of social problems with a cultural emphasis
- Medical Computer Applications– From scheduling and controlling appointments to monitoring insurance, testing orders and medications, navigate computerized medical landscape; This medical assistant certification course also covers hygiene and quality assurance of essential computers.
- Written Communication– Being able to write clear, well-organized prose is important as a medical assistant. As you must practice such skills as much as possible to hone your critical thinking abilities.
- Quantitative reasoning– Part your ideas clearly through the language of numbers. If you’re choosing an algebra course, statistics or calculus, you’ll learn to collect, organize, and interpret data.
- Humanities – Humanities-classes range widely from printmaking to public speaking. Through the lens of visual art, literature, or Spanish language, you can concentrate your artistic inquiries while studying historical perspectives and modern methods in the process.
A medical assisting associate’s degree would provide a solid basis for your future educational endeavors. When you determine that medical aid is not the final goal on your career path, the credits you receive through your associate’s program will count towards earning a bachelor’s or master ‘s degree.
Accreditation of an academic graduate school
Regardless of where you complete your physician assistant training, if you want medical assistant certification, make sure that your school is accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies:
- Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Certified Medical Assistant Salary
While willing to jump into the medical field there might be many things you are worried about like how to pursue the occupation, what are the advantages and disadvantages of it, how to get accredited medical assistant certification, how to get job after completing your education and so on. But the most vital question that appears in anyone’s mind is the money that he can expect to get paid from the job. As we have covered all the topics earlier in our article just click here to get all the certified medical assistant salary information.
Take the Next Step
Now that you’ve resolved all your doubts and got the necessary knowledge regarding the path to becoming a medical assistant, it’s time to take action. If you need any additional information related to medical assistant certification programs, feel free to comment below, and we will get back to you. For more interesting articles you can also visit online schools near me.com.