If you are considering a healthcare career as a medical assistant, you may be wondering what job opportunities away you. Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) can open doors to a world of possibilities. We will dive into the role of CMA, the demand for the job, and explore the diverse job opportunities that await those with medical assistant certifications.
A Certified Medical Assistant plays a vital role in healthcare settings. They act as a crucial link between patients and other medical professionals. CMAs are skilled healthcare professionals trained to perform both administrative and clinical tasks. On any given day, their responsibilities might include taking patient histories, measuring vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, administering medications, and even managing medical records.
As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the demand for Certified Medical Assistants is on the rise. CMAs are valued for their versatility. They can work in a range of healthcare settings, from hospitals and physician’s offices to long-term care facilities and specialty clinics. Their ability to adapt to different environments and perform various tasks makes them indispensable members of the healthcare team.
Education and Certification Requirements
To start your journey towards a fulfilling career as a Medical Assistant, the first natural step is to find a program that offers certifications by completing the coursework. Many institutions, like Genesis College, offer specialized certificate programs that are designed to provide aspiring CMAs with a comprehensive education in both clinical and administrative duties. These programs typically last around one year and equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in your role.
Certifications are vital for your career as a CMA. Becoming a CMA through a recognized certifying body, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), demonstrates that you are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and competence in the field. Employers prefer to hire CMAs because they know these individuals have passed a rigorous examination and have met the necessary qualifications.
Some states also require medical assistants to be certified or registered. Licensing ensures that CMAs meet specific state-level requirements, which may include passing an exam, undergoing a background check, or completing continuing education. Be sure to check the certification requirements in your state to ensure compliance.
Oftentimes, through completing your Medical Assistant Certification you also receive your EKG Certification (Electrocardiogram) and Phlebotomy Certification. Both of these allow you to have broader career paths with more options in the future. At Genesis College, our students complete the Certified Medical Assistant program with both the EKG Certification and the Phlebotomy Certification.
Diverse Job Settings for Medical Assistants
One of the appealing aspects of a career as a CMA is the variety of job settings available. Whether you prefer the bustling environment of a hospital, the personalized care of a physician’s office, the compassion-driven atmosphere of long-term care facilities, or the specialization of clinics, CMAs have the opportunity to find their niche in the healthcare industry.
- Hospitals: Hospitals are the epicenters of healthcare, and CMAs play integral roles in ensuring their smooth operation. In a hospital setting, CMAs often find themselves working alongside nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. In hospitals, you get exposure to a wide range of medical cases, excellent benefits, career advancement, and the chance to work with collaborative and supportive teams.
- Physician’s Offices: Physician’s offices provide a more intimate and personalized environment for healthcare delivery. Here, CMAs are instrumental in ensuring that outpatient care runs smoothly. The benefits of working in physician’s offices include building strong patient relationships, having a regular work schedule, and experiencing a more relaxed pace compared to hospitals. Their roles in physician’s offices typically include:
- Interview patients and record their medical history.
- Measure the patients’ vital signs, such as their blood pressure and weight.
- Help physicians with patient examinations.
- Give patients injections or medications as directed by physicians and as permitted by state law.
- Schedule patient appointments
- Monitoring vital signs and patient conditions
- Specialty Clinics: Specialty clinics, such as podiatry, nephrology, OB/GYN, orthopedics, or surgical clincs/center offer CMAs the chance to work in highly specialized areas of medicine. Working in specialty clinics allows CMAs to become experts in their chosen field and collaborate closely with specialized healthcare providers. In these clinics, CMAs often have specific roles tailored to the unique needs of the specialty. Some examples include:
- Podiatric medical assistants do special wound care and help with bedside surgical procedures.
- Dermatology clinics may require CMAs to assist with skin examinations, biopsies, and cosmetic procedures. Prepare the patients for surgeries or medical procedures.
- Women’s health clinics may involve CMAs in procedures like pap smears, prenatal care, and family planning services.
- Pediatric clinics often need CMAs skilled in administering pediatric vaccinations, conducting growth assessments, and providing child-friendly care.
- All specialty clinics require assisting with patient admissions and discharges, reviewing and administering orders given by the physicians, monitoring vital signs and patient conditions and or reviewing daily labs and contacting doctors as needed.
Career Advancement Opportunities for CMAs
Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant is just the beginning of your journey in the healthcare field. The exciting part is that CMAs have a multitude of career advancement opportunities. Potential career paths for CMAs include:
- Registered Nurse (RN): If you aspire to take on a more comprehensive role in patient care, becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) may be an ideal path. Many CMAs choose to pursue further education and training to become RNs, which allows them to provide more advanced patient care, administer medications independently, and even specialize in areas like critical care, pediatrics, or surgery.
- Medical Office Manager: CMAs who enjoy the administrative side of healthcare may find a fulfilling career as a medical office manager. In this role, you would be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a medical facility, managing staff, budgets, and ensuring that the practice runs smoothly. It’s a position that combines your clinical knowledge with leadership and organizational skills.
- Health Administrator: Health administrators play a crucial role in healthcare organizations, managing the business and financial aspects of healthcare delivery. CMAs with additional education in healthcare administration or healthcare management can transition into roles such as hospital administrator, healthcare executive, healthcare policy analyst, or medical assistant instructor.
Medical Assistant Certifications Open Doors to a Diverse Career
To advance in these career paths and unlock further opportunities, additional certifications and training are often necessary. Pursuing additional certifications and training can open up many opportunities for Certified Medical Assistants who are looking to expand their career. If you are looking to start your journey towards a meaningful career in healthcare with many advancement opportunities and specializations, Genesis College is here to help you get started. Contact us to learn more about our Medical Assistant program.
At Genesis College, we recognize the importance of providing prospective students with the information they need to make informed career decisions. We believe that a CMA certification is not just a piece of paper but a key that can unlock a rewarding and dynamic career in healthcare. Whether you dream of working closely with patients, contributing to medical research, or pursuing further specialization, there’s a path for you.