Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA)
Do you want to be involved in the medical profession, but not employed as a doctor or nurse? A Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) is a medical professional who completes training to assist physicians, as well as perform administrative tasks in the practice. Read more to learn what CMAs do, various programs for CMAs, and the education needed to become a CMA.
What is a Clinical Medical Assistant?
A Clinical Medical Assistant can be employed in the offices of podiatrists, physicians, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals. The duties of CMAs vary depending on location, specialty, and size of the practice. Most Clinical Medical Assistants work in in physicians’ offices as well as other healthcare facilities. A CMA needs to be detail oriented, have excellent analytical skills, as well as interpersonal and technical skills. Clinical Medical Assistants may be asked to know the names of medical instruments, and to take certain vitals of patients. You will frequently interact with the patient in your healthcare practice. Coding a patients’ medical records for billing purposes and being able to read and follow a patients’ medical chart are quite possibly in your job description. In a typical day of work, the CMA can have a variety of different tasks. The type of work may differ on healthcare practice as well as the size of the facility.
Program and Educational Requirements
In becoming a CMA, a post-secondary education program that includes classroom lessons and laboratory work to help you understand and learn medical terminology and anatomy is preferred. You will also study medical law and ethics, along with having an administrative component in your selected program. This administrative program will include coursework in the areas of accounting, billing, bookkeeping, and management in the office. Accredited programs will most likely include a practicum that will help you gain real-world experience to carry over into the work place. Most of these education programs take one year to complete, and can be taken through various traditional colleges or universities, online colleges, or vocational schools. You can typically earn a certificate by graduating from one of these programs, which is what your employer will look for. An associate’s degree can be earned by completing a two-year program that some junior and community colleges offer.
While having a certificate or degree is certainly more appealing to your employer, it is not required that you have one of these to be a CMA. There have been some CMAs that have entered the field with just a high school diploma. If you just have a high school education to offer your employer, much more hands-on work is necessary with a physician or other healthcare professional to understand and learn the skills necessary to be employed as a CMA. Certification is not mandatory, but shows your employer that you are professional and greatly increases the chances of being employed.
The more education you complete, the better your chances will be at getting a job in this healthcare field. This job is in high demand in the current economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers are looking for CMAs, because of their versatility in the healthcare facilities. This career is one that allows you to complete your education and be part of the work force quickly and efficiently.