How do I become a CMA?

You have likely seen job postings for CMAs and been impressed by the high demand. When you become a CMA, you are entering a rapidly

growing field with plenty of advancement potential. This guide will help you understand the job duties and how to become a CMA.

What is a Certified Medical Assistant?

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CMA stands for Certified Medical Assistant. Medical assistants are crucial members of almost every healthcare team. Depending on their

specializations, certified medical assistants perform administrative, clinical, or physician-specific tasks. They answer phones and receive patients, schedule lab and hospital appointments, handle billing and insurance claims, take vitals, draw blood, develop x-rays, and complete diagnostic tests. Employees with a medical assistant certificate may work as generalists in small offices or as specialists in large departments.

In addition to the scientific components, two critical medical assistant requirements are people skills and communication skills. CMAs must be able to work with both complicated physician instructions and medical terms and with patients of all ages who have no healthcare background.

CMA Employment

Certified medical assistant jobs are available at doctor offices, clinics, outpatient care centers, nursing

home facilities, and hospitals. While some medical assistants are hired with only basic knowledge, many employers prefer professionally trained individuals with medical assistant certifications. Each certified medical assistant salary varies from employer, but many CMAs in the United States can expect to earn $20,600 to $39,570. CMAs who have passed the certified medical assistant exam typically make more than medical assistants who are not certified.

Getting Certified

The first step in gaining a medical assistant certification is to enroll in a qualified program. Certified medical assistant schools teach key skills in the areas of diagnostic procedures, anatomy, physiology, first aid, laboratory techniques, medical terminology, insurance billing, and medical laws and ethics. You can learn to be a certified medical assistant online or on-campus. These programs generally take from one to two years to complete. Recent graduates of many certified medical assistant programs are automatically eligible to apply for and take the CMA exam.

The two major endorsers of medical assisting certification are the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and American Medical Technologists (AMT). The medical assistant certification exam varies by vendor, but most tests are computer-based with 200 multiple-choice questions. They essentially test every area addressed during certified medical assistant training, which is why choosing the best school is so important. Look for certified medical assistant schools that are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

In many cases, you will learn whether you passed the certified medical assistant test as soon as you press the final submit button. Congratulations! You will receive your CMA documents in the mail and can finally call yourself a certified medical assistant. Because you took the initiative to gain your medical assistant certification online, you have now opened up a number of enjoyable, financially beneficial CMA jobs.

Doing a college search for medical assisting schools or medical assisting colleges? Our US college search groups together quality schools in your area to help jump start your career. Use it to check out popular medical assisting colleges in California or in any other state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too.

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