Do you want to work in a field where you can make a difference? If your answer is "yes," then becoming a certified medical assistant or CMA may be a rewarding career choice for you!
Medical assistants are the backbone of medical operations. They serve as a bridge between patients and physicians. They are valuable members of the healthcare team, handling both administrative and clinical duties within a clinic, office, or hospital.
The first step to achieving a medical assistant certification is to enroll in classes to become a medical assistant! For success in this field, it is best to have adequate training and education. Keep reading to learn what it takes to become a certified medical assistant and what it can do for your career.
What is a Medical Assistant Certificate?
A medical assistant program will help develop the traits and professional skills needed to work in an entry-level position. Once you have completed the coursework and received your diploma you will be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant, CMA (AAMA) examination. The medical assistant program you complete must be accredited. A typical medical assistant program can take as little as 8 months.
Once you are presented with a medical assistant diploma and successfully passed your states exam, you are officially a certified medical assistant!
How To Become A Certified Medical Assistant
You might be asking how do I become a certified medical assistant? First, you must find an accredited educational program that is offered near you or online. Once you find a program like the one offered at NCC, make sure you meet the admission criteria:
- High School Diploma or G.E.D.
- Take and Pass the Wonderlic Entrance Exam
- Interview with one of the admissions representatives
A Medical assistant program should provide students with knowledge of anatomy, physiology, laboratory procedures and patient care. It should also include courses on performing clerical and administrative tasks within a medical office. Once the courses are completed, students should have a better understanding of a medical assistant’s job description and duties.
How Can a Medical Assistant Certificate Help Your Career?
“Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or even insist, that their medical assistants are CMA (AAMA) certified1.” With the proper certification, you are demonstrating to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skill needed to perform the job. Becoming certified as a CMA also shows that you received quality training from an accredited program. This is because research has shown that the accreditation process influences the quality of training and education.
The Possibilities Are Endless with A Medical Assistant Certificate
As a medical assistant, you can work in many different environments. These include doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and more. If one type of environment does not feel right for you, rest assured there are other options.
Individuals with a medical assistant certification may specialize in either administrative or clinical work. These options include:
- Clinical Medical Assistant: “Clinical medical assistants have different duties, depending on the state where they work. They may do basic laboratory tests, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. They may have additional responsibilities, such as instructing patients about medication or special diets, preparing patients for x rays, removing stitches, drawing blood, or changing dressings2.”
- Administrative Medical Assistant: Medical administrative assistants perform administrative functions. They use medical terminology learned in a medical assistant program to “…fill out insurance forms or code patients’ medical information2.” Medical administrative assistants are responsible for a wide range of tasks to ensure the office they are managing functions smoothly.
- Specialized Medical Assistant: Individuals interested in a particular area of the medical field can become specialized medical assistants. Specialized medical assistants can support diagnostic imaging procedures, radiation therapy, or other treatments. Additional certifications and training may be required if you choose to advance in a specified area.
Some of these jobs listed above are examples of the career-building foundations acquired when completing a medical assistant career.
The Benefits of Obtaining a Medical Assistant Certificate
In the future, you may choose to further your medical education. A medical assistant certification can serve as a stepping-stone for other job opportunities. As a result of their cross-trained skills, they can quickly adapt to other healthcare jobs.
Your medical assistant certification could be used as a foundation for other careers, such as nurse or EKG tech. Employers appreciate seeing work-related histories in candidates, especially in the medical field. It will show how you work with others to determine if an individual is well rounded. The medical assistant career is highly rewarding and you can choose to progress in it if you so desire.
If you’re looking for medical assistant programs in California, then look no further than National Career College. NCC’s Medical Assistant Program helps students obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to work in many medical settings. There are morning, afternoon and evening classes available to accommodate your busy schedule. If you’re ready to pursue an exciting and meaningful new career in the healthcare field, NCC can help you get started.