If you would like to begin a new career and want to enter a job field after the completion of an in-depth training program, then you should consider becoming a medical assistant. Medical workers are in high demand today due to the growing elderly population in the country, and medical assistant training programs are relatively short.
Read on to learn about the three steps you need to take to earn your online medical assistant certification.
1. Ensure the Job is Right for You
Before you decide to enroll in an online medical assistant training program, you should understand what a medical assistant job entails and the average medical assistant salary to ensure that you will enjoy working in this career field.
Medical assistants can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctor's offices, hospitals, health clinics, and more. While some medical assistant positions require that job candidates are ready to perform both clinical and administrative medical assistant tasks, others require that new medical assistants complete both task types.
Clinical tasks may include recording patient vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature; drawing patient blood; dressing patient wounds; and more. Administrative tasks include answering phones; scheduling appointments; performing insurance coding; and more.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a medical assistant today is $35,850 a year, which is about $17.23 per hour when working full-time.
2. Complete an Online Medical Assistant Training Program
Many medical assistant training programs are now available in an online-only format.
Program lengths can run from six weeks to one full year. However, when training programs are shorter, you typically spend more hours per week learning and studying than when completing a program that takes a longer time period to complete; for this reason, always check program time commitment requirements before enrolling in a shorter program.
Ensure that any online medical assistant training program you enroll in is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) before you enroll. Only graduates of programs accredited by these institutions are allowed to take the official Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) (AAMA) Certification Exam.
3. Take the CMA (AMAA) Exam
After you complete your online medical assistant training program, you are then ready to take your certified medical assistant (CMA) American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification exam.
This exam will quiz you on your knowledge of both clinical and administrative medical assistant tasks, including patient intake and discharge procedures; infection control; pharmacology; insurance billing and coding; and more. Scores on this exam can range from 200 to 800, and you must obtain a score of 430 or higher to pass it.
If you would like to begin a new career, but do not want to invest a lot of time in job training, then consider becoming a certified medical assistant. There are a variety of online medical assistant certification training programs available today.