What do certified medical assistants do in their career, and what sets them apart from other medical staff? If you’re hiring for CMAs or considering a career transition of your own, there are a few things you should know about the duties, skills required, and how CMAs obtain a certification.
The first step to becoming a certified medical assistant is to get a high school diploma or GED. If a candidate is still in school, they consider focusing on math and science courses. After this is completed, there are no national requirements to become a CMA, but the American Association of Medical Assistants does require a post-secondary education before taking the exam to become certified. Appropriate and accredited courses are available locally and online.
Once the program is completed, a candidate will need to take the exam to become officially certified as a Medical Assistant. This credential is valid for 60 months, at which point they will have to re-certify.
The primary duties of a CMA are patient assessment and care. They check vital signs and assess the patient’s medical history and document notes into an electronic record system for the physician.
A medical assistant may also perform blood draws if necessary as well as front desk administrative duties.
Hiring a CMA
When hiring a CMA, you can work with the candidate to tailor their duties to fit with your practice. CMAs can handle both clinical and administrative duties. If you are a department in a larger healthcare organization, you may wish to hire a CMA with specific experiences in your field, such as pediatrics or cardiology.
You may also have questions about hiring an experienced CMA versus someone who has recently graduated and taken the exam. There are pros and cons to each decision, and only you can determine the right hiring move. On one hand, you can tap into someone’s experience, but on the other, you can train a candidate with potential.
The best way to determine who is right for your CMA job is to discuss your options with a staffing agency specializing in healthcare placements. Call CornerStone Medical today to discuss your needs.