Certified Medical Assistant

There are many different types of job opportunities that are available in the market, but it is important to go for such a career building path that has faster growth and excellent salary package, and amongst them is CMA. Do you know what CMA is and what are its duties and responsibilities? People related to medical background may know about it, but it is not a common term in the market. The full form of CMA is certified medical assistant. They are responsible for multiple tasks including clinical, administrative, clerical and specialist duties.

Certified medical assistant is very different from certified nursing assistant (CNA), as CNA's are only responsible for taking care of the patients overall health and hygiene. The duties of a CMA may differ from one organization to the other. If you want to pursue this career, it is important that you should possess certain skills such as highly attentive to details, responsible, dedicated towards work, excellent communicational and inter-personal skills, easily adaptable to the surroundings, positive thinking ability and can handle situation even at the time of emergency.

Is medical assistant a good career?

CMA is one of the essential elements of the hospitals or nursing homes. The best part of this job is that you can switch your profile depending upon the vacancy or the job opportunities, as there are different sectors in this job profile. Before pursuing for a career development in this field, it is recommended to have a research on its various aspects such as its required qualifications, duties and responsibilities, salary package and the other details. Make sure that you have all the pros and cons in front of you, as it will help you in choosing the correct path. Let us have a look at some of the important and general questions asked by every job seeker, while going for a career building as a certified medical assistant.

How do I get certified as a medical assistant?

difference between cna and cma

The minimum qualification required to apply for a medical assistant certification is a graduation degree in medical assistance from any of the recognized university or college. To become a certified medical assistant, you need to enroll for the certification degree from any accredited institute and go for a training session from any hospitals. There is a minimum of 1 year certification program or two years associate degree program that is required to get the certification. This training will also help you in applying for other sectors related to the domain.

What are the duties of a CMA?

Basically the roles and responsibilities are categorized into 4 different sections namely clinical, specialist, clerical and administrative. The responsibilities of a clinical medical assistant are to prepare the patients for X-rays, ECG, and ultrasonography, take the blood sample for laboratory tests, dressing of wounds, inserting catheter in the veins of the patients in order to give medicines and drugs and note down the blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature. Second category is the specialist whose duties are related to the field of medicines and they should possess the in-depth knowledge in the field of medical. Next is the clerical category that deals with answering the calls of the patients who want to take appointment, sorting the emails of the patients according to different category, maintaining the medical books records of each patient, keep the data and record of the patient up-to-date, handling the insurance form and check that it is correctly filled and sometimes they are also responsible for the billing and notification work of the office. The final category is the administrative whose job is to have an overview about the accounts related issues, filling of forms related to insurance and preparing the discharge sheet of the patient, update the charges of the hospitals including room charges, pantry charges, operation charges, etc. All these duties and responsibilities are directed by the managing committee and under the state law.

What is the difference between CMA and CNA?

The major difference between a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and CMA (certified medical assistant) is that CNA is responsible for looking after the patient's requirements such as preparing beds, noting down the vital signs for e.g. temperature, and blood pressure, maintaining hygiene and sanitation and all other basic thing that are required during the treatment process whereas a CMA has to handle clinical, administrative and clerical responsibilities such as giving medications and drugs to patients, preparing them for X-rays, ultrasounds, drawing blood for laboratory tests, giving appointments to the patients, maintaining the record book of each patients and updating them from time to time, preparing the discharge summary and handing the insurance form and other documents as well.

Salary Comparision: CMA and CNA

There is an almost double hike in the pay scale of a CMA, as compared to that of CNA. Certified nursing assistant get a salary hike of almost 18% to 20% whereas certified medical assistant get a salary hike of 32% to 35% during their salary appraisal. Therefore, the average salary of a CNA ranges from $25000 to $30000 every year, but the average salary of a CMA ranges from $30000 to $35000 every year. Another important difference is that a CNA has to complete 75 hours of training to apply for the job of a nursing assistant whereas a CMA has to complete one year of certification degree or two years of associate degree to apply for a job. A certified nursing assistant has to clear the exam conducted by the state board for the approval of CNA license whereas there is no such exam required for getting a license for CMA.