As a medical assistant, you can set yourself apart within your specialty with voluntary national certification. Certification demonstrates that you have a certain degree of knowledge and expertise in the profession. In addition to professional recognition, many employers prefer to hire only medical assistants with certification. So it helps your job prospects as well. Here are some certifications to help you advance as a medical assistant.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
A highly recognized medical assistant certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Many employers expect this certification to prove that they are using care and diligence in hiring medical assistants. The CMA has requirements, including:
- Graduation from an accredited one or two-year medical assisting program
- Candidates must sit for and pass the CMA certification examination
The exam is computer-based. CMA renewal is every five years, and recertification is reliant on either the accomplishment of the CMA certification/recertification exam or the conclusion of ongoing education.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
This certification is available through American Medical Technologists. Medical assistants who desire the certificate must pass the RMA exam and meet one of the following requirements:
- Education. A candidate must be a graduate of a medical assisting program that is accredited. The program must include 720 clock hours of assisting and a clinical internship.
- Military. The aspirant must be a recent graduate of a medical services training program within the United States armed forces.
- Work experience. You need to be a high school graduate working as a full-time medical assistant for at least five out of the last seven years.
- Instructor. Be a current teacher in an accredited medical assisting program and complete a course of education in a health care discipline associated with medical assisting. You must also have five years of medical assisting teaching experience.
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
The National Center for Competency Testing offers the National Certified Medical Assistant certification. This certification is available to medical assistants who pass the NCMA examination and meet one of these requirements:
- Must be an existing student or recent graduate of a medical assistant program
- A foreign physician with documented U.S. equivalency in the past 10 years
- A medical assistant instructor with 10 or more years of experience
- Conclusion of a medical assistant training program in the U.S. military within the last 10 years
- Have at least two years of full-time involvement as a medical assistant practitioner
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
The National Healthcare Association offers the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification. To qualify, you must pass the CCMA examination and meet the following requirements for eligibility:
- Hold a high school credential or the equivalent
- Complete a training program or one year of work experience as a medical assistant
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