First of all, you need to determine if a career in the medical field is right for you. Doing so will help you decide which profession of medical assisting in pursuing and ensuring that it will be a suitable choice for your particular interests and talents. If you choose to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), then there are three main steps:
1) Education/Training – complete an approved course of training;
2) Examination – pass the certification examination; and
3) Experience – gain on-the-job experience while working as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).
So, we decided to create this article about Medical Assistant certifications with the help of MedAssistantEdu to ensure that we provide the best possible details about the topic.
A high school diploma or equivalency certificate is typically required for admittance into an approved course of training. This course can be completed at a vocational school, community college, or medical training facility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education programs should offer an externship experience where students practice their clinical skills in a simulated medical office. This is an excellent advantage if you already have some prior work experience as it will be easier for you to get used to working under the supervision and with deadlines.
To become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), you need to complete an approved training course that the National Healthcare Association recognizes. The best way to do so is by enrolling in an accredited program through a reputable institution such as Bergen Community College. One example of such training courses would be a Basic Medical Assisting Certificate or a Medical Assisting Diploma. The procedure usually takes about nine months to complete, and the time frame depends on the number of credit hours needed for completing it.
You can also search for programs on your own by looking into different colleges in your area or just entering “medical assistant training” into an online search engine. To be sure that you will get good results, try looking up local community colleges first since they tend to have more reasonable tuition rates than private institutions.
Once you have successfully completed your medical training program, you need to obtain an associate’s degree or certificate before taking the certification examination. Note though that if it so happens that you already have one but haven’t completed college yet, then it is still possible for you to take the exam – as long as it has been at least 2 years since your training course was finished.
Suppose you wish to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). In that case, you must be aware that the certification examination focuses explicitly on clinical and administrative tasks such as taking vital signs, performing EKGs, administering IVs and injections, drawing blood, updating patient records, and following up with lab results. It also covers anatomy and general medical terminology, and even legal and ethical issues related to medical practice so you can be assured that you will receive a well-rounded education beforehand.
The National Healthcare Association recognizes three national exams which certify Clinical Medical Assistants: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Registered Clinical Medical Assistant (RCMA), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant – Registered (CCMAR). The CCMA is the entry-level exam, whereas both RCMA and CCMAR are higher-level exams. These three are all computerized multiple-choice tests that take place during a single day. They consist of 135 questions each, so it’s essential to prepare for them by studying thoroughly.
You can choose from two options when preparing for the certification examination: 1) take an official training course offered by one of the approved institutions; or
Whichever option you decide to pursue, be aware that there will always be prerequisites that need to be met before taking the certification examination. For example, the BLS states that in order to take the certified medical assistant exam offered by the National Healthcare Association, you need to have at least six months of clinical experience within the past two years. 2) study on your own using different sources available at your disposal, such as Bergen Community College.
Once you analyzed your college transcripts and acquired all necessary documents, proved that you passed any three national exams, submitted an application for evaluation with payment of a fee (check BLS website for current rates), are deemed eligible, are issued a certificate of competency, then you can become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). Note, however, those certification examinations are only valid for four years before re-testing is required.
Soon after being awarded your CCMA, it would be best if you used some time to update yourself about the latest trends and advancements in your field and changes that may have been made to standards of practice. To accomplish this, you can participate in ongoing education specific to medical assistants/certified clinical medical assistants by finding out what type of courses are offered at colleges and other institutions where you live.