Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Is Your True Calling?

Year after year working and aspiring health care professionals, including thousands of medical assistants are asking themselves the important question:"What is my true calling; where do I see myself in the future; to what level will I take my career next?"
Explore Health Care and Medical Assisting Schools Near You! 

Within seconds... you will see the possibilities and propel your future into a new direction.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Medical Assistant to Chiropractic Assistant

Many seasoned medical assistants seeking jobs and new opportunities in their field are looking at chiropractor's offices for work as a chiropractic assistant or cross-train into the role of a chiropractic technologist. Just like their medical assistant counterparts in a medical doctor's practice, the chiropractic assistant works under the supervision of licensed chiropractors, performing both clerical and clinical tasks. Their duties are assigned based on their training and ability. The goal is to follow and achieve progressive treatment plans as defined by a medical physician, and/or the chiropractor.

The vast majority of chiropractors operate their own practice; others are partners in a group practice, or partnership office setting. Their daily routine includes nutritional counseling, application and removal of supports and wraps, hot and cold compresses, exercises, decompression, physical and massage therapy regimens, rehab and weight loss counseling, acupuncture and sometimes general medical services. Many recommend nutritional products and natural supplements, ointments and topicals, herbals, pillows, mattresses and orthotics to relief neck pain, back pain, stiff joints and muscle tension.

Chiropractic Assistants in Florida

To work as a Chiropractic Assistant in Florida you need to apply and register with the State, or more precisely the Board of Chiropractic Medicine which runs under the Florida Department of Health. The application process is rather simple. The registration fee is $25, plus a $5 unilicensed activity fee, which is non-refundable. It is wise to read Section 460 of the Florida Statutes and Rule Chapter 64B2, Florida Administrative Code before you send in your application form and money.

The registered chiropractic application form can be obtained directly from the Department of Health, Post Office Box 6330 Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6330 or downloaded online

On the form you will provide your full name, address, phone number, email and social security number and answer a few yes and no questions, such as whether you have been enrolled, or participated in any drug or alcohol recovery program, been treated for a diagnosed mental or physical disorder within the last five years.

You and your supervisor will sign that you have carefully read the questions in the foregoing application and have answered them completely, without reservations of any kind and declare, that your answers and all statements made by me herein are true and correct, and that's pretty much it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Medical Assistant to RN

Are you a medical assistant ? Are you wishing to cross-train into another related medical assistant jobs or become a nurse? If you are contemplating a new direction there are many fitting career paths and opportunities in the medical office and allied health career field. The first step when deciding on a fitting career is to take time to assess what you do well. It's also important to explore the educational, training and career opportunities available in your particular area first. Another very important consideration is what a medical assistant and nurse gets paid.


Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood and administering medications as directed by physician. Experienced medical assistants often elect to crosstrain or transition into these related fields to move on and up in their career.

Medical Assistant to RN

Can it be done? Many experienced allied health/healthcare professionals, especially highly skilled and motivated medical assistants, eventually cross-train into other health service occupations such as an X-ray or EKG technician, dental assistant, ophthalmic medical assistant, surgical technologist, phlebotomist, or massage therapist. Yet, others go back to school and become radiation or nuclear technologists, or licensed practical and registered nurses (LPN or RN). What ever your goal might be: with additional education and training anything is possible.

To learn more about the medical assisting career and what a medical assistant does please visit Medical Assistant Net on the Web. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Most Employers Want Certified Medical Assistants...

When Applying for Medical Assistant Positions: Are Certified Medical Assistants Preferred?

Are you a recent medical assistant school graduate or...
  • a medical assistant already working but not yet certified?
  • does your diploma seem worthless without experience?
  • do you have experience but no way to reliably document it?
 If you are a job seeking medical assistant you may already know that...

Most Employers Today Demand:
We want CERTIFICATIONS before we hire!

To work as a medical assistant you don't have to be certified (in most states, US states), but if your goal is to work in a large regional medical center, often the ambulatory medical offices and specialties affiliated with local hospitals, such as, for example our large BayState Regional Medical Center, or Mercy Hospital, which has satellite offices and laboratories throughout the Western Massachusetts communities, then you should strongly consider getting certified, because that's what they want.

You must understand, that while getting certified is not legislated nor mandated by (most) US states, it is the EMPLOYER who set their specific standards and decide what qualifications they want (see: Phlebotomy or limited x-ray training would also be a plus.

But how do you get certified?
Medical assistant certification is earned by passing a written medical assistant certification exam. This gives you recognized credentials and verification of your qualifications in various areas of the medical assisting discipline, including clinical and administrative areas. When applying for medical assistant jobs these credentials are your secret weapon, your "ace in a hole", the sure thing that makes you stand out from the rest. As long as you keep your certification status active these credentials are valid, recognized and portable to all places in the USA where you may work now and in the future. Medical assistant certification exams for individuals who meet the training and experience requirement as determined by the sponsoring organization are provided by the following entities:
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- National Registry for Medical Assisting (NRMA)
- American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants
You, after you took the certification exam, will receive an official document from the organization which presides over the exam to confirm that you have passed their medical assistant certification exam. You are then allowed to use their designated credentials behind your name as long as you abided by the rules and keep your certification status active. You will also receive a pin or name tag with your credential engraved, a professional membership card and instructions on how to keep your certified medical assistant status current.

Read Medical Assistant's Questions
WHY do so many employers now prefer hiring certified medical assistants over non-certified medical assisting staff? What are the various medical assistant certification avenues and their benefits, purpose and cost?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heroes of the Medical Office

The undisputed heroes of medical offices everywhere are their certified medical assistants. They help make the life of doctors easier and millions of patients happier. In your role as a certified medical assistant you are expected to act professionally with a can-do-attitude and friendly disposition throughout the day, from start to finish. While duties can vary greatly from office to office your main role will be to assist doctors with various clinical and administrative medical office routines, keep the patients comfortable and informed, react and handle unforeseen events and unexpected situations, including medical emergencies in an appropriate manner and keep daily medical office routines running smoothly and efficiently until every patient has been served and seen.

Certified Medical Assistant Profession

When becoming a certified medical assistant you will be dealing with people who are sick and have special needs, while at the same time staying within your discipline's scope of practice and strictly adhering to any existing state and local laws, as well as following moral and ethic principles in everything you do. Typically, you will work within an ambulatory medical office, medical physician practice setting and apply your skills under the direct supervision of the doctor who hired you. At times you might be asked to carry out delegated tasks from a supervising nurse, or other licensed health care practitioner, who is in charge and in a supervising role.
"You have to ask yourself why you want to be a medical assistant. If it's for the money then realize that it's average pay at best, BUT if you want a job in the medical field where you can make a difference, I think you would enjoy being an MA! This is the reason I'm doing it: not for the money, but for the good feeling of helping people!"
As a certified medical assistant you may also fall under certain educational and certification requirements as set forth by the State Medical Board/Board of Medical Examiners and other governing professional membership bodies and licensing boards, such as the State Board of Nursing, who regulate the medical and nursing professions in the state where you work.

Is there a difference between CMA and RMA certification and which do employers prefer?

Donna Gardner-Lawson, a medical assistant instructor, tells us in the LinkedIn Medical Assistant Job Board discussion what she has found in her area where she lives. Donna tells us:
"The general preference is for the CMA. The only significant difference between the two is the accrediting body, specifically ABHES vs CAAHEP. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which grants the CMA credential, is headquartered out of Chicago and has been around since 1956. AAMA only certifies Medical Assistants, nothing else. The American Medical Technologists (AMT), also seated in Chicago, registers medical assistants, x-ray techs, lab techs and a host of other allied health professionals. Both are nationally accepted certifications anywhere in the U.S. and its territories."
She further states that the major objective of the AAMA is to bring medical assisting into national recognition as a legitamite PROFESSION, like the RN and the MD. The AMT can not make this statement. The AAMA has lobbyists in Washington that lobby for the professionalism of the medical assistant discipline. There have been several attempts to strip the medical assistants of certain assigned duties, but thanks to the AAMA's active engagement and lobbying the duties for medical assistants have been maintained.

Whether you are certified through AAMA, or registered through AMT, in either case you are certified by means of meeting certain educational and training requirements, passing a standardized certification exam and maintaining your credential by means of annual continuing education units. As long as your credentials are valid they are portable to any state that you may work in now, or in the future.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Charging No-Show Fee For Missed Appointment?

I was watching this video clip with great interest. Charging no-show fees has always been a hotly debated and carefully contemplated topic even a decade ago when I worked as a certified medical assistant. So, I was curious what the video might tell me that's (not) new...

In watching the video I have to say I completely disagree! While the author says that the answer to charging patients for no-shows is a resounding yes to cover losses and as a form of negative reinforcement to teach patients NOT to do that, my response is a resounding no. Don't charge. It will simply alienate patients and at minimum, leave a sour taste in their mouth. Honest mistakes happen. We do get stuck in traffic, unforeseen things do come up and we get side-tracked, or we simply forget. Most patients intend to come as scheduled and many no-shows are honest mistakes. Even I, as a patient, have found myself caught up in unforeseen situations and I wound up calling the very last minute that I won't make it. In some States, no-show fees might not even be billable and when it comes to people who just toss the bill, collections probably cost more in time and effort than it is worth.

In my role as a certified medical assistant a few years ago, I have NEVER!!!!! Yes, NEEE-VER... seen a doctor sit and twiddle his/her thumbs to bridge the time gap from a no-show. You have to understand, appointments were scheduled tight, with so many patients per 15 or 20 minute time slots, fully aware that some patients might go over their allotted time in the exam room, while others might be right on the mark, or take up less time, so that in the end it would all even out.

No-show slots were a welcome break to direct the doctor's attention to phone messages attached to patient charts that had come in during the day and needed to be addressed so we could call the patients back with the doctor's instructions; furthermore gaps were filled with last minute sick calls and in the end they were a welcome brake to catch up with the daily grind. As the day progressed the doctor inadvertently almost always fell behind and patients who arrived on time for their appointment wound up sitting in the waiting room over 30 minutes, or more, just to be seen. A no-show gave us a little breathing room and in the end as the day progressed and closing time finally approached everybody was seen and cared for.

Knowing both sides of the coin, here is where I stand on this topic: if the doctor charges patients up to $125  for no-show then patients should charge the doctor the same amount for the time they are being kept in the waiting room beyond the scheduled appointment time. So, please!!!!! Let's just call it even, a win-win situation and give and take relationship between a trusting doctor and trusted patients.

In closing: I understand the old days of doctors in a horse buggy working for an apple and an egg are long gone. House calls in wind and weather any time a day are a thing of the past. The practice of medicine, while still noble and respected and an invaluable service to the community has become a for profit business. For more on medical practice management and medical billing questions visit our open and active forum.