The most stressful aspect of becoming a certified medical assistant is, without a doubt, taking your final exams. This is true of pretty much any course you take or school you attend, so at least you’re not alone. As with any exam there are things you can do to prepare and calm yourself down so that you can spend your time studying and focusing, NOT stressing out.
Make Sure You Know Which Material to Study
Graduating your program is one thing, but in order to become certified as a medical assistant you need to pass an exam accredited by either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or by the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). Most of what was covered in your course will be on the test. This includes most medical terminology (you have to know what your co-workers are talking about after all) as well as anatomy and physiology. Don’t forget your clerical skills; some students get so caught up in the clinical side of things that they forget to brush up on typing and transcription skills as well as accounting and insurance processes. Study everything and you will be prepared.
Don’t Burn Yourself out by Studying too Much
I remember when I would take exams in undergrad; I would wait until the last minute and then stay up all night cramming for the test. It never worked. It’s fine to take time off after graduating if you don’t want to write your medical assistant test right away, but make sure you keep reading your study materials on a regular basis. You will be better off studying a little bit every day than waiting until the last minute and trying to cram all that knowledge in your brain. Tests have shown that small studying sessions with regular breaks is the most effective way to retain information.
Test Your Knowledge with an Online Practice Test
Most medical assistant tests have 200 multiple choice questions that cover everything in the syllabus, that’s a lot of material to study for. How can you tell how far along you’ve come with your studying? Well first you can check online and use one of the many FREE medical assistant practice tests available to you. This is a great way to get comfortable with a digital test interface (which the medical assistant exam is) and see which areas you need to study more of. If you ace all the questions about proper patient handling and care but find yourself with a poor score on medical terminology then you know which area you should be focusing on.
Remember not to wait too long before applying to take your medical assistant test, if you wait over a year from graduating your application can be denied. So if you want to take a nice trip or go on vacation after finishing your course that’s fine, but don’t put the exam out of your mind or you could be out of luck. Studying is stressful, always has been and always will be, but with the proper preparation you can make sure you give yourself the best chance possible of passing your medical assistant exam.
One of the most common questions I get from visitors to the site is what I do everyday as a certified medical assistant. To become a certified medical assistant you need to take 1-2 years of school, or if you already have a lot of experience, then you can use your background to just learn what to do on the job. I could have used my experience as a business administrator for my parent’s barber shop, but I chose to go back to school and do the courses in anatomy, medicine, first aid, pharmacology, lab techniques and ethics because I wanted to refresh my knowledge about these topics. I was 28 when I finally went back to school and I got my medical assistant certification when I was just about to turn 30. I’ve been a certified medical assistant for five years now and I’ve never been happier!
If you want to read more about medical assistant requirements, check out this blog post!
Certified Medical Assistant Administration and Office Duties
I work in the reception of a busy private neuro-surgical clinic. I make sure that the clinic is running smoothly and because our business is so small, I do some clinical tasks as well and I report directly to our two surgeons and a business manager. Part of my medical administrative assistant tasks are to update and file patient medical records, fill out insurance forms and arrange for transfer from hospitals and laboratory services, such as blood tests.
Apart from the above, my standard duties are to answer telephones, greet patients, handle the day-to-day postal and e-mail correspondence, deal with the accounts and bookkeeping and schedule appointments with patients and the surgeons.
Medical Assistant Clinical Duties
Because we are such a small clinic, sometimes I also help out with some of the clinical duties. The most I’ve ever done is to record vital signs, but I was told at the job interview that I may have to assist as well sometimes by preparing laboratory specimens and performing basic tests! It’s very exciting. Sometimes I have to sterilize medical instruments and safely dispose of contaminated supplies.
I love working with patients in particular, and sometimes the surgeons ask me to explain medical procedures to them while they are working with another patient. I know a lot about diets, nutrition and fitness and I take part in a lot of marathons as a hobby, so I love telling patients about healthy lifestyles and how they can improve their overall level of health and fitness.
On rare occasions when the nurse is unavailable, I sometimes have to prepare patients for x-rays, use the EKG machine and even remove sutures and change dressings! I’m no longer afraid of blood since my accident with Gary and I absolutely love it when I get to assist with surgery somehow.
I’m an absolute freak when it comes to cleanliness and this is one of the reasons why my bosses love me. We do have a janitor who comes in twice a day, but during the day I usually keep everything neat and tidy and on occasion I may even wash up the hallway and sterilize the reception desk.
Check this article out if you want to learn more about medical assistant duties! Or this article for how to become a medical assistant!
Medical Assistant Salary
This is a common question, but I think I am paid very well. I started my salary at $29k 5 years ago, because of my previous 10 years’ experience in business administration, but now it has increased to $35k. While it is a bit smaller than the annual median for the country, I absolutely love my job and I can expect to get at least up to $50-60k if I work for another 10 years in this job.
If you want to learn what you could make as a certified medical assistant, check out this article about medical assistant salaries!
Without a doubt, getting my medical assistant certification was the best decision of my life and I’m going to stay here till I retire!
Check out some of my other articles, including information about medical assistant certification online, resources to help you on your way to getting your certification, and what medical assistant skills you will need to succeed at your new career!
I’ve been searching the internet for medical assistant certification resources to help you on the path to your future. From the far reaches of the internet, I bring you the finest resources I could find.
As I’ve explained here on med-assistant-certification.com, when you are in school, you will have many different requirements as far as topics go;
- Physical Science
The best place to brush up on all these subjects is actually, YouTube. Educator.com’s channel: EducatorVids has tons of science related videos that are short, concise, and easy to digest.
For other Biology related information, biologynews.net is also a good read.
When working on your medical assistant certification, it’s VERY important that you stand out from the rest of your class. Certified medical assistant is a designation that is not easily achieved, however, it is a growing field in the medical industry. It is inevitable that with the growing field, more competition for the top spots will occur. Being well-read on topics other than generic school studies is incredibly important.
Another way to set yourself up to grab the best paying and most rewarding positions is to have a network. The following are my top five blogs in the nursing arena! They will also give you a much better view of what a medical assistant is and the everyday duties of medical assistants in the health care industry.
1. Nurse Ratched’s Place: These are great stories by a professional with a clear, and easy to read writing style, entertaining and poignant.
2. Nurse POV Blogs – A collection of different blogs for a community of nurses.
3. Impacted Nurse – Here is the nitty gritty of everyday life as a certified medical assistant or nurse. This is where you will find real life cases of medicine in practice.
4. The Nursing Site Blog – Info on education in the medical industry!
5. Blood, Guts, and Coffee – I love a macabre sense of humor, and this blog definitely has it. Quips and quirks abound, the only downside, lack of updates for the nursing blog.
Once you get out of school, you’ll need information on how to find a good paying job, there are two different paths you can take, small clinic, or large hospital, for the larger companies:
CareerBuilder – These guys have been around a long time and will continue to be around.
Monster – Same as with CareerBuilder, both are well reputed and will attract the larger companies, which have more nursing and medical assistant jobs available.
The reason you want to go with these well known sites is because the employers will likely go to the most notable sites with their bulk jobs. Work smarter, not harder!
If you are trying to get a job with a medical clinic or with a specific doctor, you will need to read this article!
Also, be sure to check out the American Association of Medical Assistants website at http://www.aama-ntl.org/!
I talk to people asking about my medical assistant certification and how to become a medical assistant everyday, it seems that more and more people are finding out about my profession. My goal is to help as many people find the education they need to help kick-start a fulfilling career in this wonderful field that has allowed me to go from being down on my luck, to a qualified member of the medical industry.
If you want to be part of a respected occupation, have a high school diploma, and are willing to go through 1-2 years of study, then consider getting your certification in medical assisting. As a medical assistant myself, I can attest to the fact that the demand for trained, capable health care assistants in doctor’s offices, care centers and hospitals throughout the world is growing every year. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then how about the bureau of labor statistics? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that medical assistant employment is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations during 2008-2018. In order to answer the question, “How to Become a Medical Assistant“, you need a break-down from the beginning.
What Is A Medical Assistant?
In order to find out how to become a medical assistant, you will need to learn just exactly what is a medical assistant. Medical assistants work in the offices of health care practitioners, hospitals and private clinics. Medical assistants can perform a variety of both administrative and clerical tasks, though the type of work performed by a medical assistant will depend on the type of office they’re working in and their training.
Medical assistants work in professional, clean environments where they get to interact with lots of different people on a daily basis. A full-time medical assistant will work approximately 40 hours a week during normal work hours, though medical assistants working in a hospital, private clinic, or outpatient care facility may find themselves working irregular hours on occasion. Medical assistants can be found handling the day-to-day administrative duties associated with running a medical office, or they can be in the lab assisting physicians and nurses.
Administrative Medical Assistants
The duties of administrative medical assistants include updating and filing medical records, completing insurance forms, communicating with hospitals and labs, as well as more general administrative tasks such as answering phones, greeting patients, managing correspondence, appointment scheduling, and some bookkeeping as well.
While administrative medical assistants can receive their training in the office and are not required to obtain medical assistant certification, medical assistants who obtain medical administrative assistant certification not only have an advantage over other potential medical assistants when looking for a job, but they’ll have more leverage when negotiating salary as well.
Clinical Medical Assistants
Another important point to consider when asking how to become a medical assistant, is what are you hoping to do? Clinical medical assistants generally have a higher level of certification than administrative medical assistants. Clinical medical assistants working in a physician’s office, private clinic, or hospital will perform tasks such as obtaining medical history information from patients, measuring and recording vital signs, communicating and explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for doctor examination, as well as helping the physician with various tasks during examinations. Depending on the office, clinical medical assistants may also have responsibilities that include collecting and preparing lab specimens, conducting simple lab tests, sterilizing medical instruments and laboratory equipment, as well as disposing of contaminated medical supplies.
Speaking from personal experience, being a clinical medical assistant gives you the opportunity to enjoy a much more interesting range of tasks than as an administrative medical assistant, though both can be rewarding careers. With doctor’s instructions, a clinical medical assistant might also be responsible for giving medication instructions to patients, authorizing medication refills, drawing blood, preparing patients for x-rays, changing dressings on wounds and removing sutures, as well as taking electrocardiograms.
How To Become A Medical Assistant – Medical Assistant Certification
While it’s possible to become an administrative medical assistant through on the job training, most medical assistants these days complete 1-2 year medical assistant certification training. Proper medical assistant certification demonstrates that you meet a basic level of training and knowledge that physicians and medical offices can rely on, and it can also open the door for further career advancement. Aside from basic entry-level medical assistant certification, medical assistants can seek further certification in specialized medical areas such as optometry, ophthalmology, or podiatry.
Medical Assistant Certification Programs
Medical assistant certification programs offer a variety of classes and courses designed to prepare the student for a potential career as a medical assistant. Medical assistant certification programs are offered through a variety of accredited institutions including vocational or technical schools, community colleges, junior colleges, and even through distance learning online.
Medical assistant training may last 1 or 2 years, depending on whether the student is seeking to obtain a 1 year certificate/diploma, or a 2 year associate degree. The basic course work will cover topics such as human anatomy & physiology as well as medical terminology, transcription, bookkeeping, record keeping, insurance processing, patient interaction, and even medical law. Students will also be receiving practical training on clinical duties such as lab techniques, clinical procedures, basic pharmaceutical principles, and first aid.
In addition to coursework, the student may be expected to participate in an internship program offering practical real-world experience prior to receiving their medical assistant certification.
Medical Assistant Certification Exam
A lot of people stress about the medical assistant certification exam, but it’s something you have to consider when thinking about how to become a medical assistant. In addition to taking an accredited medical assistant certification program, potential medical assistants must take the medical assistant certification exam in order to receive their certification. Administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the medical assistant certification exam can only be written by those who graduated from an accredited medical assisting program within 3 years of writing the exam. Additionally, individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to write the medical assistant certification exam administered by the AAMA.
Application for the medical assistant certification exam will cost $125 for members of the AAMA, CCAHEP or ABHES and $250 for those who aren’t members. Students can find a medical assistant certification study guide as well as a medical assistant certification practice test on the AAMA website.
Medical Assistant Certification Online
Seeking online medical assistant certification is a popular way for working men and women to obtain their medical assistant certification. By taking advantage of accredited medical assistant online certification training programs, students can get a lot of the benefit they would receive in a classroom setting through the internet. Students are given an opportunity to interact with a professor and students, just as they would in a classroom.
While medical assistant training programs online can offer students a way to balance work and school, there are only a limited number of online medical assistant certification programs that are also accredited. Be sure to verify the online medical assistant school’s credentials prior to enrolling as there are a number of medical assistant school’s online that only offer non-accredited certification.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
Medical Assistant Requirements
With just 1-2 years of study, you can be on your way to one of the fastest growing occupations in the world. Medical assistants are already in high demand, and the U.S. bureau of labor statistics estimates that the number of medical assistant jobs will have grown 34% by 2018. Not only is it a high demand occupation, but I can tell you personally that medical assisting and the opportunities it offers for human interaction, helping others, and working with highly trained and caring doctors is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Please look around my site for helpful information on becoming a certified medical assistant and receiving your medical assistant certification, hopefully you will be comfortable with
How to Become a Medical Assistant.
If you’ve made it to the interview process, you’ve already earned your medical assistant certification and are ready to practice your medical assistant interview questions. I polled employers in my area and these questions were the most popular medical assistant questions asked of potential employees.
Common Medical Assistant Interview Questions
What do you know about our clinic/hospital/doctor’s office?
This is an “ease-in” question to figure out if you are just a one-off wannabe employee or if you are actually interested in the place of employment. Do your research before going to the interview, be sure to be familiar with what EXACTLY the office offers it’s clients, how long it’s been open, important doctors, and what type of clientele the office has. This can usually be found through the internet, but you may need to ask one of your teachers or other people familiar with the office. If all else fails, have someone call the office a week or so before you show up for the medical assistant interview and ask the person who answers the phone!
What can you tell me about your qualifications?
Obviously, if you have your medical assistant certification, throw that in the interviewers face! Ok, maybe not so brash but you’ve got something to be proud of there! Bring a resume with a summary of your education, professional experience, and accomplishments. Now, I know your likely proud of being the best seamstress in Wafford county, but don’t put that on your resume! Intern/Externships, research you’ve done in the medical field, tests you’ve performed well on, and any social clubs or associations you are a member of are great to have on your resume too; use those as a talking point for the medical assistant interview questions, check out that link for some other tips!
Are you a people person?
OK, this one isn’t really a question, but is something you may find in medical assistant interview questions, interviewers may look for in how confidently you can answer a question. Print off this article and ask yourself the questions on it and practice making conversation. You need to be professional, upbeat, and confident in the interview, because you want the employer to know that you will treat the patients and medical records with professionalism and courtesy. You will also be an important member of the team and will need to show that you can talk better than a brick wall can! They will also want to be sure that the clients can get along with you.
Have you ever had to deal with upset customers or patients, if so how do you handle them?
This question can be tricky, as different offices have different policies on how to handle unruly patients. In our office, we respectfully ask the patient to calm down and the magic words, “What do you need me to do to make everything alright?” This flips the lid on the patient and they now have to come up with the solution, if they don’t then they have nothing to be mad about! Notice how the words say “What do YOU need”, this is all patients ever want, for their need to be met. If the answer the patient has is not practical (say they ask for pain-killers for an upset stomache), then you have to explain why that will not work. If they continue to be unruly, we will follow professional guidelines to the best of our ability, and it typically ends with us referring the patient to another doctor or to the door.
NOTE: If your dealing with an emotionally upset patient, say someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer, the question will not work, unfortunately there is no answer of what you can do for someone like this other than being strong and giving the person hope if they need it.
What is the difference in a medical assistant, and a nurse?
This is a “how new to the scene” are you question. I had this one when I started out and blew it in my first interview. It’s not as common of a question as the other ones, but because of my bad experience with it, and it’s my website, I decided to include it so that someone else who is in a medical assistant interview will know that it could be coming!
Other things that may happen is that the interviewer may ask you to perform some basic tests, such as blood pressure, acting out a patient interaction, etc.
Remember that if you have your medical assistant certification, then you have a leg-up on the competition. Dress professionally, speak up, and practice these Medical Assistant Interview Questions and you’ll do great!
You didn’t think they would just give you your medical assistant certification, did you? There are a number of exams and medical assistant tests you’ll have to face in order to achieve your goal of becoming a certified medical assistant, luckily for you, I’m here to show you around. Tests are accredited by either the American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA) or by Association of Medical Technologists (AMT).
First, you should know that there are two options, the one-year diploma/certificate course and the two-year certificate or degree program from an accredited school. You can choose to go to the live classes or there are a lot of online training classes for medical assistants out there as well.
Medical Certification Test Eligibility:
- Per the AAMA, medical assistant students that are completing their final year of their CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant programs, have to enroll at least 30 days prior to finishing their last course, including any externship. Recent graduates should apply with a year of graduating.
- If you have applied more than twelve months after you graduated, your application can be denied.
- You can become re-certified if you’ve already finished the certified medical assistant program if you want to keep your license current.
- If you have any felonies on your record, you will not be eligible for the CMA (certified medical assistant), the certifying board has made exceptions before though.
You have an option to apply at anytime during the year, the medical assistant test, but you need to be sure to be finished with your medical assistant program first. AAMA, CAAHEP, or ABHES members that have graduated need to pay $125 and others have to pay $250 in non-refundable test fees. Once your form is accepted, you will be notified within the month on when you can take your test. You typically get some form of test ID that you will take to the testing center, Prometric proctors a lot of these tests in our area.
You will need to be familiar with Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Terminology, as well as clerical skills such as typing, transcription reading, record keeping, accounting and insurance processes. General office questions and situations how to handle patients are also on the medical assistant test sometimes. These are just a few of the medical assistant skills you will need.
The medical assistant test consists of four 40 minute segments with 200 multiple-choice questions that cover the criteria mentioned in the syllabus.You are allowed to take up to a 20 minute break within the four part test.
The beauty of electronic testing is that you will usually know within minutes if you passed the exam, but you won’t get the full report for about ten weeks after the test is taken. If you passed then your journey to becoming a certified medical assistant is over, but the adventure of WORKING as a medical assistant is only just beginning! Don’t let the medical assistant test bother you, I’ve known plenty of people who swore they were terrible test takers, and they could still pass it. DO your research on the training program you decide to take, and make sure they cover all the parts of the syllabus thoroughly so that you won’t have any surprises come test time. If you’ve already passed the medical assistant test, congratulations on your medical assistant certification!
On this site, we’ve covered how much you can expect from a medical assistant salary, different medical assistant duties, how to become a medical assistant, and given an overview of the different paths you can take to receiving your medical assistant certification. Now it’s time to learn about what medical assistant skills you should already possess BEFORE learning to be a certified medical assistant. You will have to perform clerical, administrative, and clinical duties. You’ll learn those all in school, here’s what you need to learn before going to medical assistant school.
Medical Assistant Skills and Their Significance
If you are a parent you are likely already pretty good at this, but your going to have to be able to switch gears constantly as a med assistant. Wearing different hats is a part of the game and you have to be able to switch from clerical to clinical duties if need be. And often you will run into circumstances that you haven’t seen before, and will need to know how to either research the solution or figure it out on the fly. You will need to be able to this quickly and efficiently.
Being able to communicate with your doctor, co-workers, patients, sales reps, other clinics, and even insurance companies is part of the job, so you’ll need to be able to interact with these people. As I’ve said before, there is concern that the online courses do not allow for building the communication skills to be a medical assistant, but if you go to class and already HAVE communication skills, the online route will be fine. You will act as an intermediary a lot between the doctor and other parties.
Especially when talking with patients, you will need to be able to know when to ask more questions. Patients can sometimes be hesitant to divulge important information, so you will need to be adept at listening for subtle clues the patient may give off. The trailing of their voice as the explain something, abrupt pauses in a sentence, lack of eye contact, etc. All of this could potentially save the persons life. (Or a lawsuit against the clinic!) You will also need to be able to listen to co-workers and your bosses to be able to effectively do your medical assistant duties.
A Medical Mindset
There will be a lot of times where you will hear pretty confusing medical jargon, but don’t worry, your training as a medical assistant will help you be ready for this. But you need to enter your medical assistant training knowing that you will have to memorize a lot of these terms. Being comfortable with this concept beforehand will go along way to making you a better employee. I would have to say this is the most difficult medical assistant skills.
General Sanitary Lifestyle:
If you carry hand sanitizer everywhere, have dirty kids, or possibly even a dog, you’ll likely know what I’m talking about here. Cleanliness in the workplace is very important, 100 times so in a medical environment. Being clean and sanitary are very important medical assistant skills that you need to be aware of.
Your going to have to use a computer, likely a lot. If you are unfamiliar with computers, take a local class to help yourself get the basics down, otherwise you may be behind when you start classes. When you get a job, you will have to enter a lot of data, from financial to medical, so be prepared.
Sometimes, the list above may not come naturally to everyone, but they are very important medical assistant skills. Regardless, as you can see the medical assistant skills are not a difficult medical assistant requirement.
If you are lacking in any of these, there is a treasure trove of information on the internet that will help better yourself in any of these areas. I’m confident you can master these skills and earn your medical assistant certification and finally enjoy a high-paying, rewarding career as a certified medical assistant.
Medical Assistant Duties
With the explosion in the demand of medical assistants, many physicians are looking for employees with their medical assistant certification to do the higher pay grade tasks. Typically, certified doctor’s assistants carry out basic tasks, such as first contact with patients, recording patient history, taking blood tests, performing ultrasounds, MRI’s, and even blood tests. That’s a LOT of jobs you could be performing after getting your certification. The purpose of this article is to explain some of the medical assistant duties that you will be responsible for after starting work.
What does a medical assistant do?
As I said in the first paragraph, this is a difficult question to answer, but I’ll do my best! When you start, you will likely be doing what we call “Front Office Duties”, especially if you took the six month or year long diploma route. You will then slowly be trained for “Back Office Duties”, these are the fun jobs, such as helping doctor’s with their MRI’s, ultrasounds, and blood tests. Here are other typical medical assistant duties you may have, as well as some medical assistant duties that are possibly not so typical.
Front Office Medical Assistant Duties
Clerical Medical Assistant: Basic secretarial work, answer phone calls, keep the doctors from having to take phone calls from patients that don’t really need to speak to them, greeting clients as they come in, answering the mail, billing, setting up schedules, and some will handle bookkeeping and accounting functions for the office as well. Even though you won’t be paid as much as other medical assistants if this is all you do, you are the rock star of the office, without you, patients don’t see the doctor, the office doesn’t make any money, and no one gets paid! You will learn a lot of these medical assistant skills in each avenue you could take to becoming a medical assistant with certification.
Administrative Medical Assistant:
Don’t be confused with the similarities in the clerical medical assistant, the administrative assistant typically is more involved with the medical side of the office. Your medical assistant duties will include filling insurance papers, sending patients to referrals for specialists and scheduling their appointments, scheduling clients for specific tests, ordering lab and test equipment, and updating patient’s charts. Higher tier duties include keeping inventory of the test equipment and medical supplies. This is also a very important position as NO doctor likes it when the MRI machine is double-booked. Keeping the doctors and patients happy keeps that high pay coming in! These duties are typically covered in all the three paths to becoming a medical assistant, but you’ll get a bit more in the Associate’s Degree and Online Degree for Medical Assistants.
Back Office Duties of a Medical Assistant
Clinical Medical Assistants: This position actually has direct contact with patients and work directly with the doctors. You are an important piece of the office’s medical processes. Now, there are laws and regulations that limit what exactly you can do, but believe me, without us following proper procedures the whole supply chain of helping the patients can be altered. You collect blood samples, help the doctors with their notes, help prep the patients for their tests, collecting accurate medical history, getting saliva and “other” swabbed samples, handling lab samples, and the list goes on and on. You will learn more of these procedures in the two year degree, but it will be covered in the year long course as well as the online training, just slightly less in depth.
Specialists Medical Assistants:
These positions are the highest paying of the bunch. You will have been specifically trained in different areas of medicine and will be the doctor’s right hand assistant. You will perform actually medical procedures on patients and help them overcome whatever it is they are in the office for. Examples would include being an optometrist’s assistant or pediatric assistant. You will likely be involved in surgeries as well! You will have to receive your medical assistant certification from a two year program and likely have an externship as well to receive the appropriate medical assistant training to become a specialist. With the high pay comes the most medical assistant duties. Some offices have in-house training that you can become a specialist through.
So, what does a medical assistant do? Everything that makes a doctor’s office actually run! Without you, patients don’t get to see the doctor on time, their test results don’t get put in the right places, their histories aren’t filled out correctly in order to have appropriate diagnosis and prescriptions, etc. These are just some of the medical assistant duties you will be responsible for. If you are ready for a rewarding, high paying job go and start the process of getting your medical assistant certification today!
Becoming a certified medical assistant is becoming one of the most in demand professions of the decade, given that, more people are entering medical assistant certification programs, so it’s important to know medical assistant requirements. One of the greatest things about receiving your certificate is that the prerequisites for becoming a medical assistant are very reasonable. Most medical assistants will end up working in a hospital, clinic, or front office of a small physician’s practice. Most of these employers are specifically looking for medical assistants with certification, and here are the medical assistant requirements you need to know!
Medical Assistant Education Requirements – The Start
You will need to have at least the equivalent of a high school education in order to start the journey to becoming a certified medical assistant. A GED will also work as a prerequisite medical assistant requirements.
The Ability to Analyze
One of the most important skills in becoming a medical assistant is you need to have the ability to analyze. Some medical assistant requirements are that a lot of data will be put in front of you, and it will be your job to figure out what it means. Without you, the medical field wouldn’t be able to run! You will also need to use those analyzing skills to figure out which path you want to take to receive your medical assistant certification!
In order to become a medical assistant with a certification, you will need to follow one of the three major routes as described else-where on this site.
-One year diploma
As mentioned elsewhere, these different avenues to becoming a medical assistant have different pros and cons. You will end up learning different subjects such as physiology, bookkeeping, medical billing and coding, medical insurance rules, anatomy, and other administrative tasks. Also be prepared to learn about medical ethics as you will be deemed a medical professional, and as such will need to adhere to a professional set of guidelines, generally accepted by medical assistants.
Dependent on which avenue you pick, you can finish the training to become a med assistant and then qualify for either a six month or one year “externship as a medical assistant”. Personally, everyone I’ve talked to who has done an externship says they learned more during those six months to a year than all of their education requirements combined! It helps you learn about your daily medical assistant duties as well as how to deal with cranky doctors and patients!
One of the largest factors potential employers will look for once you finish you enter the job force is if you are a certified medical assistant. The certification can be done by applying to take the certification test for medical assistants through the authority, American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Once you have passed the test, you will receive your certificate and officially be a medical assistant! Now you will have to fight off all the employers with a stick!
Typically, you will need to renew your medical assistant certification every five years, depending on which state you are located in. If you do not keep up with your CPE for medical assistants or the Medical Assistant Requirements that go with being certified, you can all the hard work you put forth in becoming a medical assistant!
Your typical duties as a medical assistant may include manning the front desk or back offices, or you may be involved in clinic duties. If you are interested in becoming a certified medical assistant, this site will hopefully answer all of the questions you may have about the process of receiving your medical assistant certification. Now if you believe this profession could be for you, ACT today and find schools in your area that offer certification! Your wallet and career will thank you later for it! Now you know some of the medical assistant requirements!
Medical Assistant Salary
A medical assistant salary is not always cut and dry. You will obviously make more if you have your medical assistant certification. There is always a need for medical assistants, but what state you are located in, the size of your city, job duties, experience, and relevant work history all play a factor in your average certified medical assistant salary. Typically, you’ll be performing under the supervision of doctors and nurses, and will be assisting with diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health care tasks.
It also depends on if you are looking into a administrative medical assistant or a non-front desk medical assistant salary.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make
In the US, on average 10% of certified medical assistants receive $28/hr, which is $57,000 a year. This is considered to be an entry level starting salary.
About 25% receive $35/hr or $73,000/year.
The median salary for medical assistants that are certified is $41/year or $86,000 a year. In some areas, you can even earn up to $110,000 a year as a medical assistant with certification.
Per the US Department of Labor, the typical professional in medical assistance fields have salaries up to $47.71 a year, or $104,000 a year. This is a great industry for the short time it takes to finish classes!
5 Best Paying States for Medical Assistant Salaries
According to a recent survey conducted by some social organizations and through online surveys some of the states paying higher salaries to medical assistants are as follows:
#1- Washington Medical Assistant Salary – Pays on average $47.71 an hour. That’s almost $100,000 a year!
#2- Wyoming Medical Assistant Salaries – $47.06 an hour for a certified medical assistant in Wyoming, pretty close to #1 but not quite.
#3- D.C. Medical Assistant Salary – While technically not a state, surprisingly enough is $49.60 an hour, and even though it’s a bit higher on average per hour, D.C. medical assistants don’t work as many hours as the other states.
#4- Medical Assistant Salaries in Connecticut – $46.84 an hour, or $97,420 a year!
The top 5 metropolitan areas for medical assistants are:
- Amarillo, TX
- Racine, Washington
- Brownsville, Wisconsin
- Harlingen, Texas
- Chattanooga, TN-GA
You can expect to make between $121,000 and $135,000 as a medical assistant with certification in those areas! (Note the average in the state is brought down by smaller sized cities, and areas with less of a demand for medical assistants)
How does the Future Look?
It’s getting better every day, hospitals and small physician’s offices can’t keep enough medical assistants to help with the ever growing health field. Basic economics teaches us that with more demand, the price goes higher! Now is the time to go after your medical assistant certification. Hopefully this site will give you the information you need to ACT and get a great medical assistant salary, not just think about it!