What Is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)?

Receiving the certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA) designation from the National Healthcareer Association can allow medical assistants to perform more clinical duties. Read on to find out how to become certified and what type of salary you can expect. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Medical assistants fulfill both clinical and administrative tasks at hospitals, physicians' offices, and other medical settings. As a CCMA, your focus would be on the clinical side of these responsibilities. This may include measuring patients' vital signs, recording their medical histories, preparing examination rooms, disinfecting medical instruments, drawing blood, giving injections, and administering medication. All of this is usually done under the supervision of a physician. You may also work closely with the physician and aid him or her during patient examinations by acting as another set of hands.

Important Facts about Medical Assisting

Job Outlook (2014-2024) 23% growth
On-the-Job Training Provided for new hires that did not complete postsecondary education
Key Skills Analytical, interpersonal and technical skills
Similar Occupations Administrative Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse, Nursing Assistants, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Certification

To become a CCMA, you're required to at least hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) also requires you to have completed a medical assistant training program. If you wait more than five years to take the exam after completing a training program, you must have at least one year of professional experience working in a medical setting (www.nhanow.com). Many certificate and associate degree programs are available in medical assisting and some are even available in clinical medical assisting specifically. These training programs provide you with instruction on topics like coding, medical office technology, pharmacology, medical terminology, and radiology.

The CCMA exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed in a timed period. The questions cover areas like phlebotomy procedures, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, and infection prevention. You must receive a scaled score of 390 or higher in order to receive the CCMA designation. Once certified, you also must complete continuing education credits every two years to maintain your status.

Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the average hourly wage for all medical assistants was $15.01 or $31,220 a year as of May 2014. Additionally, PayScale.com reported that the majority of certified medical assistants who held a CCMA designation received hourly rates of $10.15 to $17.31 as of January 2016, which is between $21,638 and $40,443 a year.

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