How is Medical Administrative Assisting different from regular Medical Assisting?

Administrative medical assistants often fill out insurance forms or code patients’ medical information. Some assistants buy and store supplies and equipment for the office.

Medical assistants engage in medical procedures, such as taking a patient’s vital signs, giving injections, or preparing blood for lab tests. An administrative medical assistant works in an office setting, submitting medical claim forms, updating patient files, scheduling appointments, billing, bookkeeping and other general clerical duties.

What type of certification do you need?

Once you have completed your training to become a medical administrative assistant, you can earn an optional certification. Although the certification is not required to work in the medical administrative assistant field, it is an extra edge in the job search. Employers are more likely to hire someone with this extra credential.

There are a few organizations that offer certification in the field:

  1. The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  2. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  3. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
  4. The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification from American Medical Technologists (AMT)

How do I become a Certified Medical Assistant?

First, you must have completed a medical assistant training program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Secondly, you must apply to take the AAMA exam. The registration fee costs $125 if you are a member of the AAMA and recent graduates of CAAHEP or ABHES-accredited schools. The fee is $250 for anyone else. Next, you must schedule an appointment. When your application is approved, you will receive a permit. Fourth, you must study for your exam. Then you must pass the test!