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 obtain medical assistant certification and what type of salary you can expect. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a CCMA?

A certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA) is a medical assistant who has gone further in their career by qualifying for certification. Medical assistants fulfill both clinical and administrative tasks at hospitals, physicians' offices, and other medical settings. In comparison, CCMA responsibilities focus more on the clinical side of these tasks. These 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.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, 57% of all medical assistants work in offices of physicians, while 15% work in hospitals. Most work full-time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays, depending on the hours of the facility in which they work.

Important Facts About This Career

Job Outlook (2016-2026) 29% growth (for all medical assistants)
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: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

CCMA Certification and Education

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). There are programs available at the certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree levels for medical assisting. There are even some programs 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.

Clinical Medical Assistant Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the average hourly wage for all medical assistants was $16.61 or $34,540 a year as of May 2018. Additionally, PayScale.com reported that the majority of certified medical assistants who held a CCMA designation received hourly rates of $11.09 to $18.35 as of July 2019, which is between $25,000 and $41,000 a year. Also according to Payscale.com, an entry-level CCMA earns an average of $12.57 per hour, while a CCMA in the middle of their career earns an average of $14.93 an hour and an experienced CCMA can expect an average hourly pay of $16.10.

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