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Medical Assistant Information

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This website is focused on providing information on being a medical assistant. We start out answering the question “what is a medical assistant?” and then provide further medical assistant information to help give you a good idea of what this career is like.

A medical assistant career consists of working with a physician and assisting him or her with administrative and clinical tasks to help the office run smoothly. This involves a good variety of tasks throughout the day, including dealing with patients and with paperwork.

There are some medical assistant requirements that you must have in order to be able to do this job. You need to be able to deal well with people, and you need to get the necessary training so that you have the skills to perform the job. Some employers also require you to become certified.

Becoming a medical assistant involves attending one of the many accredited training programs that are available. It is helpful if you then become either a Certified Medical Assistant or a Registered Medical Assistant since people with these qualifications are preferred by employers.

There are medical assistant training programs in almost every state, usually offered through community, junior, or technical colleges. These training programs last for one to two years and result in a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree, depending on the program.

A medical assistant college that has a two year program resulting in an associate’s degree with best prepare you for the job, and give you a better background to help you pass the certification exam as well. There are more than 250 such programs, including one available as an online/distance option.

Although it is not required by any of the state governments, medical assistant certification can help you to get a better job. Employers like to see job candidates who are either Certified Medical Assistants or Registered Medical Assistants since this shows that they have a solid knowledge base in regards to the tasks they will need to perform on the job.

To become an American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), it is necessary to pass the medical assistant test. You can find the application for this test, as well as some recommendations on how to prepare for the test and information on what is included on the test on the AAMA website.

The salary for a medical assistant in the United States will range from $23,800 through to $32,963 with the average salary for a medical assistnt being $27,885. It is important to note that medical assistant wages can be altered by factors such as the size of the employer, your credentials and your years of experience; as well as being augmented by factors such as healthcare plans.

Once you have completed your training, you need to prepare your medical assistant resume so that you are ready to begin your job hunt. This should including your contact information, as well as information on your education and employment history.

Medical Assistant Certifications

Employers generally prefer to hire medical assistants who are certified, as they know that those with medical assistant certifications have proved that they have the minimum skills necessary to satisfactorily complete the tasks required of them. Therefore, those with medical assistant certifications will be likely to need less training and be able to get up to speed more quickly in a new position.

There are a couple different options available for medical assistant certifications. One of these options is to become a registered medical assistant (RMA) through meeting the requirements of the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The other option for certification is to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Both options for medical assistant certifications require that you complete a medical assistant program that is certified by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Between the two organizations there are programs in almost all of the states, and there are at least a couple programs that offer an online or distance option so even those who do not live near an accredited program can still get the required education.

Besides completing an appropriate educational program, each of these medical assistant certifications requires something more. The AAMA medical assistant certifications require you to pass an exam, and the AMT certifications require you to have five years of work experience if you are not a recent graduate. There are fees involved with getting and retaining these certifications as well.

These medical assistant certifications also need to be renewed. The CMA certification can be renewed through examination or through continuing education credits. The RMA certification is renewed through paying the annual fee and getting the appropriate level of points. Points are earned through continuing education, being employed in the field, giving presentations, and publishing articles, as well as other similar activities.

The two above medical assistant certifications are the most common, but there are also more specialized certifications available as well. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant and a Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant certification, and there are other specialized medical assistant options available as well. You can become a Optometric Assistant, an Opthalmic Assistant, or a Podiatric Assistant, for example.

Most of the organizations that offer medical assistant certifications allow you to complete at least part of the process online. If you go to the website of the organization you can find the applications posted there. However, it appears the CMA exam needs to be taken in person.


Medical Assistant Test

One of the certifications that medical assistants can get is the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification. Employers like to see medical assistants with this certification since they know that anyone who has earned this qualification has a good solid knowledge base in all the areas required for them to do their job. However in order to get this certification a medical assistant needs to pass the certified medical assistant exam.

This medical assistant test covers the information that should have been learned in any accredited medical assistant training program. In order to prepare for the medical assistant exam medical assistants should study administrative and clinical procedures, anatomy and physiology, laboratory procedures, medical terminology, and medicolegal guidelines and regulations.

You can go to the AAMA website to get the content outline for the certified medical assistant exam and use this to make sure that you cover all of the topics on the exam during your studies.

In some areas there are review courses for the medical assistant test that you can attend to help you prepare for your exam. These will be easier to find if you are a member of the AAMA since membership helps you connect with other medical assistants in the area and gives you access to publications that might announce these review courses. However, these are not available in all areas.

One really good way to get an idea of what the medical assistant test will be like is to take the practice exams available through the AAMA website. Currently they have practice exams for the anatomy and physiology and the medical terminology sections of the medical assistant exam.

In order to take the medical assistant test you need to get an application (available from the AAMA website) and fill it out. Once you have been approved and paid the exam fee you will need to schedule your exam at one of the Prometrics test centers nearest to you.

It might be a good idea to become an AAMA member at the same time as you are considering taking the certified medical assistant exam, as the cost for members is $125, compared to $250 for nonmembers. However, recent grads of accredited programs can also take the test for the lower rate without becoming members. Membership does offer other benefits though so it wouldn’t hurt for even recent grads to consider joining this professional organization.


Medical Assistant Training Program

There are a variety of different medical assistant training programs available for those who are interested in this career. These programs are usually available through technical colleges, community colleges, junior colleges, and vocational schools. They typically last for one year if they are awarding a diploma or certificate and for two years if they are awarding an associates degree.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) both accredit medical assistant training programs. As there are more programs accredited by CAAHEP, we are going to talk about these programs in this article.

CAAHEP accredits a total of 267 medical assistant training programs that result in associates degrees and 358 degree and certificate programs. These programs are at a total of 569 different schools, spread out through 46 states.

For those who don’t have a CAAHEP accredited medical assistant training program near them, there are even two schools that have online distance programs available. These are Kaplan University in Davenport, IA and Spencerian College in Louisville, KY.

For those looking to get prepared for entrance into one of these programs, volunteer work at a health care facility is helpful, as well as high school courses in such topics as biology, bookkeeping, computers, health, mathematics, office skills. and typing. These will help to prepare you for the coursework you will need to complete in your medical assistant training program. Entrance into most programs requires a high school diploma.

Medical assistant classes usually include some that are more administrative in nature, such as accounting, insurance processing, office practices, recordkeeping, transcription, and typing, as well as those more medical in nature like anatomy, the administration of medications, clinical and diagnostic procedures, ethics, first aid, laboratory techniques, medical law, medical terminology, patient relations, pharmaceutical principles, and physiology.

There are some things you should consider when choosing a medical assistant training program. You need to decide whether you would like to attend a shorter program that results in a certificate or whether you would like a longer program that goes more deeply into things and leads to an associates degree. You also need to consider the location, cost, whether or not financial aid is available, what prerequisites are needed, whether an externship is involved and what you need to do to meet this requirement, and whether or not there is an option to study online.

Medical Assistant Resume

The medical assistant resume is similar to resumes you might have seen for people in other fields. It should include many of the same sections and much of the same information.

The first section of any medical assistant resume should be your name and contact information. You should include your name (with any certifications you may have following it, such as CMA or RMA), address, phone numbers, email address, and a fax address if you should have one. Many people center this information at the top of the page and put their name in bold print.

Which section comes next usually depends on your level of experience. For those without a lot of experience, the next section of a medical assistant resume would be that for education. You should include all postsecondary educational programs you have attended, including the name, address, dates of attendance, course of study, and degree or certificates achieved. Sometimes people also include any courses that would be particularly relevant to the job they are seeking. If you received any awards or honors they should be listed here as well.

The next section of your medical assistant resume should be for your work experience. Those without a lot of paid work experience usually list volunteer and internship experience here as well. You should list your job title, employer’s name, the dates you worked there, and a description of your responsibilities and the skills you used during each position. For those with a lot of work experience this section should precede the education section of the medical assistant resume.

Finally, some people include personal information at the end of their resume, such as awards and honors, hobbies, foreign languages, volunteer work, and other information that might be relevant. Sometimes a list of references is also listed at the end of a medical assistant resume, but many people have a second reference sheet that they provide only upon request, and this is becoming a more common way of doing things.

Now that we have covered the basic layout of the medical assistant resume, there are a few things that should be emphasized. When you are writing about your responsibilities in the employment section, you should be sure to write using action words, and try to point out specific accomplishments that you were responsible for whenever possible. You want to make it clear that you will be a valuable employee that will make a difference.

What Is A Medical Assistant

If you are trying to research different health care job options, you might be wondering what is a medical assistant, and what does a medical assistant do?. Well, some of the duties of a medical assistant vary by state, but we will try to answer this question here with some of the basics that are true regarding most medical assistant positions.

A medical assistant job description usually includes two different types of duties, administrative duties and clinical duties. Some medical assistant positions involve more administrative duties, others involve more of a mix of administrative and clinical tasks.

What is a medical assistant responsible for in regards to administrative duties? They might be asked to answer phones, arrange for hospital admissions or lab services, code and fill out insurance forms, greet patients, handle correspondence including billing and bookkeeping, schedule appointments, update and file patient records, and use various computer applications.

What is a medical assistant usually asked to do in terms of clinical duties? These duties are the part of a medical assistant’s job that is a bit different depending on the state where they are located, but some examples of clinical duties include assisting physicians during exams, authorizing prescription refills as directed by the physician, collecting and preparing lab specimens, drawing blood, explaining procedures to patients, instructing patients about medications or special diets, performing basic lab tests, preparing and administering medications as directed by the physician, preparing patients for examination, removing sutures and changing dressings, taking electrocardiograms, and taking medical histories.

The medical assistant job desription varies depending on the size and type of practice that they work in, and the training that they have received. Some doctors will be more willing to transfer certain tasks to medical assistants than others.

When you ask “What is a Medical Assistant?” you are asking a question that is sometimes a bit hard to answer specifically. Basically, medical assistants are caring people that like to help others. They work with physicians and assist them in a wide variety of tasks depending on what is needed and what they have been trained to do. They have received a year or two of training and may or may not have passed an exam to become certified. They are able to help with administrative tasks as well as some of the basic clinical tasks involved in patient care, with the exact clinical tasks they are allowed to perform varying state by state.

Becoming A Medical Assistant

Although sometimes people are trained on the job for this career, becoming a medical assistant usually requires you to complete an accredited training program. Once you have completed the training program, you might also want to consider becoming certified. Although this is not usually required by employers, they do prefer to hire medical assistants who are certified or who have previous experience.

Accredited programs for becoming a medical assistant are available in 46 of the 50 states. These 569 programs have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and usually last one to two years depending on whether they result in a certificate or an associate’s degree. For those interested in becoming a medical assistant that do not live in an area with an accredited program, or those who wish to study online, there are two programs available with online/distance education options. These are through Kaplan University in Davenport, IA and Spencerian College in Louisville, KY. A complete listing of all the CAAHEP accredited programs for becoming a medical assistant is available on the CAAHEP website.

Another organization that accredits programs that teach you how to become a medical assistant is the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are 87 ABHES accredited medical assisting programs in 30 states.

An accredited program for becoming a medical assistant involves taking courses in clinical and diagnostic procedures, coding and insurance processing, first aid, human anatomy, keyboarding and computer applications, laboratory techniques, medical administration, medical law and ethics, medical terminology, office practices, pathology, patient relations, pharmacology, physiology, and recordkeeping and accounting.

For those interested in how to become a medical assistant, one of the options for getting certified is through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to become an AAMA Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) you need to have graduated from one of the accredited programs mentioned above and you need to pass the certification exam.

Another option for getting certified is to go through American Medical Technologists (AMT). Those who are certified by AMT are called Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs). Becoming a medical assistant who is certified through AMT requires that you have completed an accredited medical assistant educational program and (if you graduated more than 3 years ago) at least five years work experience. There is also a fee involved, which needs to be paid annually upon renewal, and you need to earn points to keep up your certification through continuing education and other career related activites.

Medical Assistant Requirements

Although there aren’t many medical assistant requirements that are set in stone, there are some things that will make it easier to get a job as a medical assistant, and more likely that you will get a better salary.

One of the few requirements to become a medical assistant that exists is that you beĀ  able to deal well with people in a pleasant way and able to explain any instructions the physician may have given in regard to their case. You need to be well groomed and able to set people at ease.

Although some medical assistants might be lucky enough to get on the job training, the requirements to become a medical assistant usually include completing a training program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Educations Schools (ABHES). You can go to the websites of these organizations to get a complete list of accredited programs, but there are programs in almost every state as well as two online distance education programs that teach the medical assistant requirements in regard to what you need to be able to do on the job.

The medical assistant requirements that these programs teach you include such skills as transcription and typing, laboratory techniques, medical terminology, accounting, record keeping, insurance processing, clinical and diagnostic procedures, first aid, anatomy, physiology, administration of medications, pharmaceutical principles, medical law and ethics, and office procedures.

Although certification isn’t always one of the medical assistant requirements, it is definitely advantageous to have either a CMA or an RMA certification after your name when you are looking for medical assistant jobs. These certifications offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) respectively, prove to potential employers that you have the minimum knowledge base required in order to properly perform the job.

Once you have one of these certifications, one of the Certified Medical Assistant requirements is to do a certain amount of continuing education each year in order to keep your certification. These courses are available through a variety of websites, and usually you can pick and choose those you are most interested in. It is always a good idea to keep up with any new developments in your profession, and by requiring you to do continuing education these organizations are trying to make sure that you do this.