How to Become a Medical Assistant

Becoming a certified medical assistant offers a wide range of opportunities in the healthcare settings. Your duties may be both clinical and administrative, depending upon your work setting. To become a certified medical assistant you’ll need a program that allows you to pass the certifying examination. It can be accomplished in as little as a year at vocational schools and community colleges in your area.


However, you will have choices as to the variation in programs. For instance, some focus more on administrative duties, others on laboratory and others on a more traditional clinical practice. As a medical assistant, you can choose an associate degree at an accredited school, taking up to two years to complete, or one-year certification program. Very rarely will an online option be available except for an individual class or two. While online classes allow you to learn on your own schedule, those that require laboratory or clinical experience must be done at a facility.


Additionally, there will be state regulations to guide what you’re able to do and the education that’s expected. The benefits of being certified include higher income expectations and more job opportunities. Although there are positions available for a medical assistant without certification, it’s more difficult to find those jobs and you’re likely to be paid less. The five certifications accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies are:


  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcareer Association
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcareer Association
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants


What Are The Medical Assistant Responsibilities?

In an office or hospital setting, medical assistants are responsible for taking vital signs, drawing blood, recording a medical history and scheduling appointments. In physician’s offices, medical assistants are used to manage medical records, billing and coding, prepare patients for appointments and prepare examination rooms. In most instances medical assistants must be able to use computer software to record patient information and send emails. Once your classroom learning is completed, many schools typically require an externship to get clinical experience before certification and working.


Once you’re finished with your education, externship, and certification, it’s time to start looking for a job. The demand for medical care is constantly changing. Working with a staffing agency often gives you the opportunity to explore multiple options with your recruiter to determine the best fit possible. Medical assistants have the opportunity to work in nursing and rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, homes and schools. In fact, agencies can help you spend your time working, not looking for work.


Ready To Start A Career In Healthcare?

At Anodyne, we are committed to helping our professionals find the best fit for their skills and their needs. Contact us today and we’ll get started on finding an opportunity to meet your needs.