Medical assistants are professionals who complete a wide variety of tasks ranging from administrative to clinical in just about any healthcare facility. From scheduling patient appointments to taking blood, recording patients’ medical histories, and more, the tasks that correspond to medical assistants are many and varied.
To become a certified medical assistant, you will have to choose between an administrative or clinical focus. Generally, there are two main medical assistant certifications offered by the National Healthcareer Association: the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).
If you are not sure which medical assistant certification is right for you, read on to learn the differences between CCMA and CMMA. In addition, you will discover what medical assistant training might serve you best as you pursue your career.
CCMA vs. CMAA: What’s the Difference?
While the CMAA focuses on the administrative aspects of medical assisting, the CCMA is a more robust medical assistant certification. The CCMA delves into both the administrative and clinical areas of medical assisting, making it a more comprehensive certification.
Because the CCMA is a more demanding certification exam, it typically requires a longer medical assistant course. While medical assistant training for a CCMA usually takes up to a year or more to complete, you can study for a CMAA in as little as six months.
Can I Follow the Same Career Path with a CMAA or CCMA Medical Assistant Certification?
The career path for a person with a CMAA vs. CCMA could look very similar. What may look slightly different is the starting point. A CMAA certification prepares you strictly for administrative duties. So, you would not be able to start in a job that requires clinical expertise.
On the other hand, a CCMA certification offers a bit more flexibility. Because CCMA medical assistant training covers both clinical and administrative aspects of the job, you may qualify for a wider variety of jobs. You could do both administrative-focused medical assisting and clinical medical assisting. Many jobs may require a combination of these skills.
Keep in mind that it is possible to learn new skills on the job. So, some people who complete a CMAA may eventually move into doing clinical work with on-the-job training.
Why Would Someone Take the CCMA Instead of the CMAA or Vice Versa?
In general, the field of medical assisting has a great job outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for medical assistants is predicted to grow at 19% from 2019 until 2029. This suggests that completing either a CCMA or CMAA would offer you good job prospects.
If you are more interested in administrative work, your best bet is to choose a CMAA medical assistant course, such as this one. The CMAA may also be a good choice for someone who wants to get their certification quickly, as it can often be completed in six months.
Those who are looking for a more comprehensive certification to allow them to do all things related to medical assisting should choose a CCMA. The CCMA offers more job opportunities because the certification covers both clinical and administrative knowledge.
Other important considerations include your personality and interests. To become a CCMA, you will learn to feel comfortable preparing blood samples, changing dressings, and operating medical equipment. If you would not like this kind of work, you may prefer to become an administrative medical assistant and opt for the CMAA.
Which Medical Assistant Course Will You Choose?
Now that you know more about medical assistant certifications, you can make an informed choice about which sort of course or training program is right for you.
Remember, whether you opt for the CCMA or CMAA, choose a reputable medical assistant course before taking the certification exam. This investment in training will help you pass your certification exam and achieve a bright future in your medical assistant career!
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