Thursday, March 15, 2012

Preparing for Your Medical Assistant Final Exams and Certifications

Author: Danni R.

The objective of a medical assistant training program is to provide comprehensive training to the medical assistant student body so that they can perform job related duties in medical offices and ambulatory clinics where health and medical services are provided.

Evaluation in traditional courses typically involves administering knowledge-based tests, quizzes, and exams. The final examination for medical assistants typically consists of a written and practical (hands-on) test given to students at the end of the course to assess each student's knowledge of subjects taught throughout the program.

Medical assistant students take shorter exams at the end of each academic term, and the "big one" at the end of the very last semester of the program. Passing these finals is a prerequisite for earning the desired degree, or diploma and determines the student's final course grades. The exam covers just about any  and everything that was taught in class, therefore, the student's own notes, homework assignments and quizzes become one of the most important and valuable test preparation tools. Medical assistant instructors usually provide study guides outlining job-related skills and theoretical knowledge that will be covered, and often hold a mock examination to simulate the real exam and hold a final review of the topics covered.

- Don't Sweat Your Final Exams

Most medical assistant students are nervous, some even experience a degree of anxiety and concern about the upcoming finals. One way to cope with this is being well prepared, informed and confident in your knowledge and skills.

Being ready and prepared for your medical assistant final exam, however, does not start the very last moment by cramming your notes and textbooks, but rather, it begins from day one by applying yourself, regular attendance and participation in class, reaching out to fellow students and instructors and lending a helping hand wherever possible in the clinical lab, being proactive when it comes to special projects, asking questions, partaking in class field trips and volunteer events, such as holding a blood pressure clinic in a nursing home, or setting up an information booth at the mall.

Satisfactory completion of training is based on achievement of all specified competencies. If medical assisting classes are held 5 times a week, and you have been missing half of the time, you have good reason to be worried. Also, if you have not done your homework assignments, or skipped important quizzes, you will again, likely be in trouble when it comes to taking your final exams and passing because you probably lack the competency and skills performed to a specific standard under specific conditions.

- Consider Sitting for the Certification Exam

Graduates of a qualified (and recognized) medical assistant training program, who wish to earn certified medical assistant credentials, are usually eligible to sit for a separate certification exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), sponsored by the American Medical Technologist Association (AMT), or a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). There are separate fees for these exams, which sometimes are, or aren't covered in the cost of the program.

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