Do you want to work in a doctor’s office, but you’re not interested in providing care? Well, if so, you could be perfect for a career as a certified medical assistant. You’ll be able to work in a physician’s office or medical facility working with the staff and patients as they come in for their appointments. Understanding exactly what the job entails can help you decide if it’s one that you’d be interested in working.
What Is a CMA?
A certified medical assistant, or CMA, are responsible for administrative and clinical tasks in medical facilities. They work with patient records, appointment setting, and delivering information to other medical facilities for continuation of care.
Certified Medical Assistant Salary
A medical assistant earns on average $28,860 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those that are certified often earn a bit more because they have the title of being much more experienced in the field.
Choosing a career as a certified medical assistant means you could have many CMA jobs available well into the future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the industry expects a growth of 31 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Certified Medical Assistant Job Description
As a certified medical assistant, you will report to the medical facility in which you work every morning. You’ll likely have to check voicemail messages, and then call back patients needing appointments, or transfer messages to nurses.
While handling callbacks, you may have patients come into the office for their appointments. You’ll take their name, pull their record, and then let the nurse know the patient has arrived.
You may also have to check the accuracy of the record by giving the patients documents to sign or asking if their insurance or address has changed.
Throughout the day, nurses and doctors may come to you with requests for information. You may have to call other nurses, doctors, or pharmacists for the information they need.
Some of the other tasks you may be responsible for are filing records, calling patients to remind them of their appointments, and taking notes during meetings.
How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant
Becoming a medical assistant is quite easy. You don’t need any formal education. All you need is a high school diploma. To become a certified medical assistant, you’ll need to do a bit more.
According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, CMAs are the “gold standard of medical assisting professionalism.” Many employers are now preferring medical assistants to be certified, so it can give you an edge if you’re just entering the industry.
To start the certification process, you’ll need to review the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam Eligibility categories. If you are eligible, you’ll need to enroll in a medical assistant program that is accredited.
In the program, you will gain knowledge that will make being a medical assistant much easier. For example, you’ll learn about medical terminology, keyboarding and computer applications, office practices, and medical law and ethics. Once you’ve completed the academic portion of your education, you may also have to complete a practicum, so you can gain experience in the field.
It’s not until you’ve completed the program that you can apply for the certification examination, which is available from the National Board of Medical Examiners.
To take the exam, you’ll have to complete the application and submit documentation. You should receive information about the exam from the Certification Department within 30 days. You’ll then schedule the day and time for the exam.
Once you pass the examination, you’ll receive an official certificate for your wallet. You’ll also be able to put your new credentials on your resume, which will be a great boost for employment.
Start a New Career as a CMA
Becoming a CMA doesn’t take a lot of schooling, and that means it doesn’t take much money. If you’re unsatisfied with your current job, and it seems as though this job would suit you better, start the process of becoming a CMA today. Find an accredited school, and then take the exam. That’s all it takes to seek a new career that could end up being perfect for you.