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Certified Medical Assistants

 

 
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Medical Assistant Certification Benefits and Requirements

Medical assistant certifications are reaching a new level of popularity with employers. There are a number of different certification sponsors in the USA, each having their own unique certification requirements. Their certification exams serve as a valid means of assessing an individual's specific knowledge and competence in the medical assistant occupation. Passing any one of the various offered medical assistant certification exams adds credibility and credentials to your name by granting recognized designations in your specific discipline. Once you have earned your credentials they are then portable to all places you may work now and in the future and employers will respect and appreciate them.

 

Medical Assistant Certification in USA

Medical assistant certification in the USA is largely voluntary. Medical assistant certification exams are held at different intervals, often annually, semi-, or tri-annually at designated testing sites for individuals who meet training and experience requirements as determined by the sponsoring organization. The best known certification bodies in the USA are:

- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Registry for Medical Assistants (ARMA)
- Certification Commission (SCMA(tm) credential)
- American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistant

Upon passing a medical assistant certification exam the candidate receives an official document from the organization that provided it to confirm the person named therein has passed their standardized written certification test. Typically, the document shows the certificant's name, date of birth, certificate number, certification status, professional examination results, type of earned credential and any conditions or restrictions with an official seal. This documentation is especially valuable during job applications and consideration for promotion.

Medical Assistant Certification Based on Experience

American Medical Technologists (AMT) grants certifications in nine different specialties and they may grant you your certification based on five years experience: Certification candidates who want to take advantage of certification based on their years of continuous job experience can do so through special certification application and verification programs, such as the one offered by AMT, a great opportunity for experienced individuals already working in the field. Those who want to get certified must provide written proof of from their director or employer. Details are in the above video.

AMT

AMT's Clinical Allied Health Professional Certifications:

  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Medical Administrative Specialist (CMAS)
  • Healthcare Instructor (AHI)
  • and more

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National Healthcareer Association:

NHA NHA offers clinical certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)
  • Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS)
  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
  • and more

 American Registry of Medical Assistants

The American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA) grants the N-RMA credential to medical assistants who pass their certification exam. ARMA was incorporated on September 22, 1950 by the originators who were Registered Nurses and assistants in local medical offices, hence the title "Registered" applies to their members. The registry's goal is to give medical assistants the benefits of certification and provide them with publications and updated medical and social information that interests them. Their contact information is below.

Certification Cost

Taking a certification exam and maintaining active certification status is associated with certain costs, such as certification exam prep books, registration fee for the examination, and continuing education credits (CEU). The cost for the examination differs between organizations. The AAMA examination costs $250 for those seeking first-time certification and $125 for those seeking recertification. The AMT examination costs $95, and the NHA's is $105.

NHA certificationsCertification Status Expiration

Certified professionals need to keep their certification status active and up to date. Certification is not permanent, but rather, it must be maintained through a certain number of annual continuing education credits (CEU), otherwise it will expire after a set number of years:

  • AAMA's CMA certification = 5 years
  • AMT's RMT certification = 3 years
  • NHA's CCMA + CMAAS = 2 years

Once any of the above mentioned certifications have lapsed (expired) the person may continue to work in his/her role as a medical assistant, but may no longer use these credentials behind his/her name until he/she has applied for recertification through re-examination.

More Medical Assistant Certification Information:

bullet American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Dr., Suite 1575, Chicago, IL 60606
  Internet: http://www.aama-ntl.org

bullet American Medical Technologists, 710 Higgins Road Park Ridge, IL 60068, USA
  Phone Number: (847) 823 5169 Internet: http://www.amt1.com

bullet National Healthcareer Association, 7 Ridgedale Ave., Suite 203, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927, USA
  Internet: http://www.nhanow.com

bullet The American Registry of Medical Assistants, 61 Union St Ste #5, Westfield, MA 01085, USA
  Internet: http://www.arma-cert.org/

bullet American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
  Internet: http://www.aoa.org 

bullet American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants, 2l24 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
  Internet: http://www.aspma.org

bullet  Information about career opportunities, training programs, and certification for ophthalmic
  medical personnel: Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology,
  2025 Woodlane Dr., St. Paul, MN 55125. Internet: http://www.jcahpo.org 

Accredited Educational Programs in Medical Assisting Info:

bullet Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, 7777 Leesburg Pike Suite #314 N, Falls Church, VA 22043. Internet: http://www.abhes.org

bullet  Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 1361 Park St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Internet: http://www.caahep.org

 

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