Medical Assistant Certifications
Medical assistant certifications are credentials that demonstrate the competence and proficiency of individuals in various aspects of medical assisting. These certifications are usually obtained by passing an examination that assesses knowledge and skills in areas such as clinical and administrative procedures, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and patient communication.
What are the Benefits of getting a Medical Assistant Certification?
Getting certified as a medical assistant can be an important step in advancing your career in the healthcare industry. Here are a few reasons why:
Increased job opportunities: Many employers prefer to hire medical assistants who are certified, as it shows that you have met certain standards and have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform your job effectively.
Improved earning potential: Certified medical assistants often earn higher salaries than those who are not certified. This can be a result of the added credibility and professional standing that comes with certification.
Enhanced knowledge and skills: The certification process often requires that medical assistants demonstrate a high level of knowledge and proficiency in various medical and administrative tasks. This can lead to an increased level of confidence and competence in your job.
Recognition by the medical community: Medical assistant certification is a widely recognized and respected credential in the healthcare industry. It is an indication that you are a professional who is dedicated to your career and committed to providing high-quality care to patients.
Opportunities for career advancement: With certification, medical assistants have the opportunity to advance their careers into positions of greater responsibility and higher pay.
Overall, getting certified as a medical assistant can help you stand out in a competitive job market, demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your profession, and open up new opportunities for career growth and advancement.
Why Earn a Medical Assistant Certification?
Most medical assistants (MAs) are not required to hold a state license or certification to practice in the field. However, 89% of today’s employers either require or strongly prefer MAs with at least one certification. According to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), MAs who perform specific duties (such as phlebotomy or x-rays) or who work in specialized fields (such as podiatry or ophthalmology) may be required to have specific training and certification in their area of specialty.
In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also ruled that only credentialed MAs are allowed to enter the laboratory, radiology, and medical orders into their computerized system. Even if not required, certification shows that you have met specific, industry-recognized standards for competence as a medical assistant. It assures your employer that you are prepared to begin work in a medical assisting position or take that role to the next level of performance. As a result, certification can offer opportunities for greater responsibility, more career options, and higher income.
What is the Medical Assistant Certification Process?
Eligibility: To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited medical assisting program or have equivalent work experience in the field. It is also important to check with the certifying organization to confirm any specific eligibility requirements.
Exam: After ensuring your eligibility, you will need to pass a certification exam. The exam is typically multiple choice and covers a wide range of topics, including medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, administrative tasks, and medical laws and ethics.
Application: Next, you will need to submit an application to the certifying organization, which may include a fee. Some certifying organizations require that you pass a background check, as well.
Preparation: Before taking the exam, it is important to prepare by studying and familiarizing yourself with the topics covered on the exam. Many certifying organizations offer study materials and practice exams to help you prepare.
Exam administration: The exam is typically administered at a testing center and is taken on a computer. You will have a set amount of time to complete the exam, and you will receive your results immediately after completing the exam.
Maintenance: After getting certified, you will need to maintain your certification by participating in continuing education and renewing your certification on a regular basis, typically every two years.
Getting certified as a medical assistant is an important step in advancing your career and demonstrating your knowledge and skills in the field. By following these steps and preparing appropriately, you can increase your chances of success on the certification exam and achieve your goal of becoming a certified medical assistant.
What Are The Best Medical Assistant Certifications?
What are the best certifications for your Medical Assisting career? The primary certifications for Medical Assistants include the following credentials:
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible for the CMA, you must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). To be eligible for the RMA, you must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam.
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification is offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). To be eligible for the NCMA, you must have completed an accredited medical assising program and pass a certification exam.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification is offered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible for the CCMA, you must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam.
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certification is offered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible for the CMAA, you must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam.
Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant (CMLA)
The Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant (CMLA) certification is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have the knowledge and skills needed to work as entry-level medical laboratory assistants.
In addition to these certifications, there are other certifications available that focus on specific areas of medical assisting, such as phlebotomy, electrocardiography, and medical coding and billing. Obtaining a certification can demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and commitment to the field, and may lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries.
How Can I Prepare For the Medical Assistant Certification Exam?
Preparing for medical assistant certification can be a challenging and rewarding process. Here are some steps that can help you prepare:
Review the eligibility requirements: Before you begin preparing for the certification exam, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements set by the certification organization you have chosen.
Study the exam content: Obtain a study guide or review the exam content outline provided by the certification organization. This will give you a clear understanding of the topics you need to know to pass the exam.
Get hands-on experience: If possible, try to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting to supplement your knowledge and help you understand the concepts you are studying.
Use study materials: Utilize study materials such as textbooks, online courses, or study groups to help you prepare for the exam. Consider taking a review course or studying with a tutor if you need additional support.
Practice questions and simulations: Practice answering questions and working through simulated medical scenarios to help build your confidence and test your knowledge.
Get enough rest and stay healthy: Make sure you get enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet to help you perform at your best on exam day.
Stay organized and focused: Create a study schedule and stick to it. Keep track of the topics you need to study and the questions you have answered correctly and incorrectly.
By following these steps and dedicating yourself to your studies, you can increase your chances of passing the medical assistant certification exam and becoming a certified medical assistant.
Medical Assistant Professional Associations
There are several professional organizations for medical assistants, including:
American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – The AAMA is the largest and oldest national professional organization for medical assistants. It offers certification, continuing education, networking opportunities, and other resources for medical assistants.
National Healthcare Association (NHA) – The NHA offers certification for medical assistants and other healthcare professionals, as well as continuing education and career development resources.
National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) – The NCCT offers certification for medical assistants and other allied health professionals, as well as continuing education and professional development resources.
National Federation of Medical Assistants (NFMA) – The NFMA is a national professional organization that provides support, networking opportunities, and continuing education for medical assistants.
American Medical Technologists (AMT) – The AMT is a professional organization that offers certification for medical assistants and other allied health professionals, as well as continuing education and professional development resources.
National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) – The NAHUC is a professional organization for health unit coordinators and medical assistants who work in hospital settings. It offers certification, continuing education, and networking opportunities.
These organizations provide medical assistants with opportunities for professional growth and development, as well as a network of support and resources to help them succeed in their careers.