Certified Medical Assistance’s job has become one of the most sort after and rapidly growing career in the profession of health care. Becoming a Certified Medical Assistance requires you to handle most of the clinical duties that a Registered Nurse usually does, such as- moving the patients, managing patient history charts, keeping a regular check on injections, ecg , x-rays etc and lot more. This is a well paid profession and it just takes 6 to 12 months to become a Certified Medical Assistant.
The credential in CMA corresponds to a Medical Assistant who is certified by the Certifying Board of the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants). Getting a Certification in Medical Assistance means a career advantage, better status among other co-workers and increased job security. In recent days most of the employers prefer that the medical assistants working for them must be Certified Medical Assistants.
There are 7 simple steps on how to become a Certified Medical Assistant.
1: Find out your eligibility – The very first step is to find out the eligibility criterion to confirm prior hand whether you qualify to appear in the Certification exam or not.
2: Enroll in a recognized medical assistance program and complete the course – Most of the training programs offer theoretical and hands-on training in a variety of subjects:
- Terminology of Medical Science
- Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
- Computer applications and Keyboard handling
- Basic accounting
- Coding and record keeping
- Medical insurance processing
- Laboratory practices
- Medical/clinical and diagnostic practices
- Drug (medicine) supervision
- First aid treatment
- Common back office practices
- Patient interaction and relationship
- Following medical laws and ethics
Apart from the above academic curriculum you are also supposed to complete a practical (hands-on) training which includes an unpaid on-site practical work experience done in a recognized health care setting, which will be done under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Doctor and is an integral part of this training program.
3: Apply for the certification exam – To appear in the exam you need to fill out the application form along with submitting the enrollment fee and requisite documents. The AAMA members or a CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) or ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools) completing students or recent graduates gets a 50% rebate and their enrollment fee is $125. Apart from them everyone else needs to pay $250. The enrollment fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable, which can be paid by any of the following means (excluding Personal checks): Money order, Credit card/Debit card, Cashier’s check, Certified check and Institution check.
Applications which are not submitted with appropriate payment can cause delay in the scheduling of your appointment for the exam or it may be even returned back to you.
4: Arrange for an exam appointment – Once your exam application has been accepted and processed further, a scheduling permit is issued to you nearly 3 weeks before your examination start date. This permit will consist instructions on how to make an appointment at a Prometric exam center in your vicinity. The certification exam can be taken anytime during the running year. The faster you plan your exam appointment, the more possibly you will get your preference of location and time.
5: Study hard – The most significant and essential thing without which your pathway to take the exam is futile, is to study hard. You can get started by pursuing the following resources:
Utilize the Content Framework as a path to track all the examination topics you require to study. Search for recent medical assistance books that cover vital topics for the exam, such as- organizational and clinical practices, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, guidelines on medical laws and regulations and laboratory procedures.
Take the AAMA practice tests to check your existing knowledge and preparation on main topics like- Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology.
If a CMA Exam review course is offered in your local area by some certified medical assistance program or by any of the local chapters of AAMA, then go for it. If you become a member of AAMA that will also help you to get associated with other Certified Medical Assistants and current students. You will also start receiving updates on local events through mails.
6: Pass the CMA Certification/Recertification Exam – The final key to receive the official certification and wallet card, which proves that you have finally achieved your CMA credential, is to pass the certification exam held by AAMA. After passing the exam you can put your name and credential (CMA) on your resume. You can also use these credentials with your name to apply for a position of medical assistant nationwide.
7: Always keep your CMA credential updated – To acquire knowledge on modern competencies and therefore becoming more protective towards your patients, it becomes essential for a CMA to recertify his/her credential every 5 years. One can do that by taking up an examination or through pursuing ongoing education.