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.

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