You don’t have to be certified to work as a medical assistant. You can choose to start your career after finishing a medical assistant training program. But this would put you at a distinct disadvantage in many ways.
For example, not being certified most likely would affect your job opportunities, your earning power, job security, and career development. When looking for employment, you would be competing against medical assistants who are certified, and having that credential would raise their value in the eyes of employers. The employers would know that those who are certified passed a thorough and all-inclusive exam where they had to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality care.
By becoming certified, you separate yourself from the crowd, having attained the highest level of professionalism in your field. You are showing employers that you have met the high standards established by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Because the certification increases your value to the employer, you can command a higher salary. Moreover, by showing your expertise in a variety of areas, the employer is more likely to give you more responsibility and opportunities on the job. Having the certification also expands what you can do on the job. For example, Medicare and Medicaid will pay for claims submitted only if the claim is based on patient orders written by certified medical staff.
What’s in the Certification Exam
The certification exam is comprehensive, encompassing the full range of administrative and clinical skills and knowledge required to perform the duties of the job. These cover medical office management, which includes knowledge of HIPAA guidelines and the Patient’s Bill of Rights, creating and maintaining electronic health records, processing Medicare and Medicaid claims, and assigning basic diagnostic codes, among many other management skills.
Other areas of the exam include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and phlebotomy. Candidates for certification must also demonstrate knowledge of medical procedures, including taking a patient history, measuring vital signs, doing a basic screening, interpreting examination results, obtaining specimens, and having a working knowledge of ECG procedures, such as being able to identify normal and abnormal results.
How to Apply
First, you need to read the Candidate Application and Handbook for the CMA Certification Examination, which you can access online at the American Association of Medical Assistants website.
Then, you need to determine if you must verify your eligibility. If you are a recent graduate of an accredited medical assisting program, or soon to graduate, you don’t need any supporting documentation to verify your eligibility. However, if you are not a recent graduate, you do need to provide a transcript to verify eligibility.
You can apply online for the exam by going to the American Association of Medical Assistants website.
Over the past 20 years, Team1Medical has moved into the top echelon of staffing agencies in the Greater Houston area because of our service, reliability, and expertise. So, no matter what your healthcare background, Team 1 can assist you in furthering your career in the medical field, allowing you to control your own schedule, and working with you on finding the right opportunity. Call 713-590-2980 or apply online today, and find out why Team1 has earned its reputation as one of the best.