Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Career

When changing or starting a career path many things need to be considered: employment rate, required training, earning potential, soft skills, experience, advancement opportunities, etc. If you are considering becoming a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) here are some facts you should know before you decide, whether to pursue this career or not.

Administrator · December 29, 2017

First of all, what does it mean to be a Clinical Medical Assistant?

CClinical Medical Assistants play a major role in the day to day operations of a medical facility. They perform certain tasks that otherwise would have to be done by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Through their work the productivity of a medical facility is improved and doctors can see more patients. Clinical Medical Assistant responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

Tasks required to perform.

  • document medical history and vital signs,
  • discuss treatment procedures and options with patients,
  • set up and prepare the patient for examinations and test procedures,
  • collect and catalog laboratory specimens,
  • execute standard lab tests,
  • give assistance to doctors and nurses through examinations and treatments,
  • dispose of the contaminated supplies,
  • disinfect medical instruments,
  • take electrocardiograms,
  • remove stitches,
  • prepare patients for x-rays,
  • replace dressings.
The scope of responsibilities depends on the services a medical facility provides. Some tasks can be learned on the job, but these days employers prefer employees with experience, degree, certification, or a combination of all of them. In a busy medical facility there is usually little time and only few resources available to train a new employee. Therefore more knowledgeable you are in this profession, and more tasks you can perform without supervision from day one, the more valuable you are.

Discription of a Clinical Medical Assistant

Necessary Skills

As a Clinical Medical Assistant you must enjoy working with people! Clinical Medical Assistants work closely with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, but their main focus are patients. As a CMA you will interact with patients on a daily basis. You have to be emphatic, highly patient, diplomatic, outgoing, active listener, and great communicator, for people you get to see might be frustrated, sick and in pain, scared. Professionalism and discretion is a must, since handling sensitive and confidential information is part of the job. Other skills should include: multitasking, prioritizing, dependability, calm and composed behavior in emergency situation and when working under pressure, team player, strong work ethic, etc.

Pay And Job Outlook

The health care industry is in demand for highly trained office staff in: medical office administration, procedures, medical terminology and technology, medical law and ethics. Additionally managing health records and medical billing is becoming much more high-tech. Medical administrative assistants with electronic health records (EHR), medical coding and billing training are becoming the new standard. This is one of the fastest growing careers in the healthcare industry. CMAA’s can work at clinics, urgent care facilities, dental offices, nursing homes, chiropractic offices, hospitals, insurance companies.

According to Salary.com The median annual Medical Assistant salary is $33,733, as of November 28, 2017, with a range usually between $31,097-$36,427, however this can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Our team of Certified Compensation Professionals has analyzed survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at companies of all sizes and industries to present this range of annual salaries for people with the job title Medical Assistant in the United States.

Medical Assistant Salaries by Percentile
Percentile Salary Location Last Updated
10th Percentile Medical Assistant Salary $28,697 US November 28, 2017
25th Percentile Medical Assistant Salary $31,097 US November 28, 2017
50th Percentile Medical Assistant Salary $33,733 US November 28, 2017
75th Percentile Medical Assistant Salary $36,427 US November 28, 2017
90th Percentile Medical Assistant Salary $38,881 US November 28, 2017

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics:"Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients. An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants work mostly in primary care, a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform, increasing patient access to medical care. Medical assistants who earn certification and have familiarity with EHRs may have better job prospects."

Benefits Of Becoming A Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are a central source to clinics and hospitals. Doctors and nurses rely on the medical assistants to effectively communicate a patient's information to other health professions and conduct procedures efficiently to assure a patients visits runs smoothly.

While on the clock as a medical assistant you will be very busy and take on a variety of roles and operations in a medical office or clinical setting. You’ll interact with different types individuals of all ages and medical staff of mostly all the health professions because you'll be the first to meet with and convey the patients health information. You can expect to continually improve your communication skills along with refining your soft skills as you become an expert at a sought-after clinical specialty.

Medical assisting is an outstanding health career course with plenty of room for advancement and typically a launching point for many hospital occupations and health care careers such as nursing, radiology, Health Information Management Technologist, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Office Management or specializations that require more training or education.

Ways to become a Clinical Medical Assistant

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Although in some states there are no formal educational requirements most employers generally require administrative medical assistants to be graduated from a post-secondary educational program. Many have a high association diploma, or equivalent and gain knowledge of their responsibilities at the workplace. High association students considering this profession should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy.

There are different ways to begin your career as a Clinical Medical Assistant. If you don’t already have a degree or experience, or they are insufficient, certification is the fastest route of obtaining your credentials.

"You can start your dream career, get promoted, and boost your earning potential in a handful of months. Don’t settle. Stand out and advance your career by getting certified".

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According to the United States Department of Labor:

Most medical assistants have a postsecondary education award such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training.

Medical assistants
Assistants may update a patient's medical file, fill out insurance forms, and answer telephone calls in a practitioner's office.

Education

Medical assistants typically graduate from postsecondary education programs. Although there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant in most states, employers may prefer to hire assistants who have completed these programs.

Programs for medical assisting are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities and take about 1 year to complete. These programs usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year programs that lead to an associate’s degree. All programs have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.

Some medical assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties on the job. High school students interested in a career as a medical assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy, and possibly business and computers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses. They may be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.

Detail oriented. Medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information. Physicians and insurance companies rely on accurate records.

Interpersonal skills. Medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians. They often interact with patients who may be in pain or in distress, so they need to be able to act in a calm and professional manner.

Technical skills. Medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Training

Medical assistants who do not have postsecondary education certificates learn their skills through on-the-job training. Physicians or other medical assistants may teach a new assistant medical terminology, the names of the instruments, how to do daily tasks, how to interact with patients, and other tasks that help keep an office running smoothly. Medical assistants also learn how to code both paper and electronic health records (EHRs) and how to record patient information. It can take several months for an assistant to complete training, depending on the facility.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical assistants are not required to be certified in most states. However, employers may prefer to hire certified assistants.

Several organizations offer certification. An applicant must pass an exam and have taken one of several routes to be eligible for each certification. These routes include graduation from an accredited program and work experience, among others. In most cases, an applicant must be at least 18 years old before Joining for certification.

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, accredits five certifications for medical assistants:

Some states may require assistants to graduate from an accredited program, pass an exam, or both, in order to practice. Contact the state board of medicine for more information.

Advancement

With experience, medical assistants can specialize and move into leadership roles. With more education they may advance into other healthcare occupations such as registered nurse, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

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Clinical Medical Assistant

Clinical Medical Assistants work closely with patients and doctors in an occupation that significantly increases productivity in a clinical setting.

Weeks to complete course: 32

CEU's: 60

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Certification & Licensing

Certification, in today’s world, is the fastest way to earn credentials necessary to start a new career, or to advance in a current one. Certifications are more specialized, than traditional education, and are focused on acquiring a particular set of skills . For employers it simply means that there is less on-the-job training required, which saves them time, resources, and money. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMAA) is a nationally acknowledged certification administered by the National Healthcareers Association. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMAA) is a nationally recognized certification.

Advantages Of Certification Training

The The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMAA) is a nationally acknowledged certification. In this occupation those who are certified have a big advantage when searching for a job. A certification is a way to stand out among any prospect and it is the simplest way to prove qualifications and certain level of competence. There is less on-the-job training, which will save you and employers valuable time and resources. A certification proves to employers that the candidate is serious about their profession.

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