Medical assistants work directly with patients on health care procedures. They might work taking patient’s blood samples, giving injections, preparing blood for lab tests, or taking vital signs. Medical administrative assistants work in an administrative setting, where they will perform tasks such as billing, bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, submitting medical claim forms, updating patient files, and other clerical duties.
What type of certification do you need to work in the highest paying areas?
While certification is not required to become a medical administrative assistant, it is a good idea, as it will give you that extra competitive edge in the job market. Employers are more likely to hire the candidate with the most credentials. There are several organizations that offer certification:
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification from American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
How do I become a Certified Medical Assistant?
To become a certified medical assistant you must first have completed a course in medical assistantship from an accredited school. This school must be accredited by either the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Next, you must apply to take the exam, called the AAMA. The fee is significantly cheaper if you have recently graduated from one of the accredited schools. You must register for an appointment and wait for your permit to arrive. Last but not least, you should study for the exam so you can pass the test!