A certified medical assistant performs duties within the healthcare industry primarily for doctors, physicians and surgeons. Many of the tasks are routines but require a special skill or knowledge. A certified medical assistant will have to perform routine checks on patients, such as checking for pulse and heart rate, taking blood samples, administering injections, measuring medication and recording all this information on record so a doctor or physician can monitor the progress (or digress) of a patient over a set time period.
A certified medical assistant who works within the U.S. military services may have a different skill level than one that would work in hospitals, clinics and surgery centers. A medical assistant will also have to perform duties which include handling medical instruments, collecting specimens from patients for tests at a later point in a lab, administering aid to a patient and checking tissue samples for testing.
Education and training for this role requires accreditation from the C.A.A.H.A.P (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs). Then to obtain certification, a medical assistant must gain accreditation from the A.B.H.E.S (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education School). Becoming certified in the role means it will set you apart from a general medical assistant and it recognizes a person as having been tested and gained certification in a wide range of general, administrative and clinical health roles and duties.
The American Association of Medical Assistants (A.A.M.A.) requires any career progression to a certified medical assistant must begin with a solid graduation and education from high school. Following that, a certified medical assistant will have then taken a course that has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or alternatively, the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. There is also the National Health Career Association accreditation that will take you on the road to becoming a certified medical assistant.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a certified medical assistant median pay was about $29,370 annually in 2012. However, this occupation is expected to increase much faster than average by 29% from 2012 to 2022.