What is a Medical Assistant?

what is a medical assistant

Medical Assistant Career Overview

Medical Assistant Duties

Medical Assistant Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, your best chance is to obtain postsecondary education through a medical assisting program. While some enter the profession with just a high school diploma, those who completed a training program tend to have better job prospects. Delta Tech’s medical assistant training program can be completed in as little as nine months. This allied health training program trains students in essential clinical procedures as well as administrative office practices.Furthermore, those seeking to work as medical assistants ought to have a broad skill set, including active listening, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management, problem sensitivity, and deductive reasoning.

Medical Assistant Certification

Upon completion of a medical assisting training program, graduates may want to look into industry certification. Among the most commonly known credentials are Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), and National Medical Assistant (NCMA).

What is a Certified Medical Assistant?

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers a credential for medical assistants. The CMA examination is developed and administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered in four 40-minute segments. Individuals are eligible to take the exam if they meet one of the following three criteria:

  • Completing student or recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program
  • Non-recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program
  • CMA (AAMA) recertification 

What is a Registered Medical Assistant?

What is the National Medical Assistant Certification?

Medical Assistant Career Outlook

The BLS reveals that the job outlook for medical assistants is significantly better than average. The employment in this field is expected to grow 19 percent from 2019 to 2029. One major reason is that the number of aging baby boomers continues to grow, which in turn increases the demand for preventative health services. As physicians will see more patients, they will hire more medical assistants to help with administrative and clinical duties. Career prospects are particularly promising for medical assistants who have earned certification and are familiar with electronic health records (EHRs). Advanced career opportunities include leadership roles like clinical team leader, medical office managers, healthcare administrator, or medical records manager. Medical assistants may also pursue continuing education to become registered nurses, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners.

Medical Assistant Salary

Similar Professions

There are a number of occupations similar to medical assisting in the healthcare industry, according to the BLS:

  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Medical Records & Health Information Technicians
  • Nursing Assistants & Orderlies
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants & Aides
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants & Aides
  • Psychiatric Technicians & Aides 

Delta Tech’s Medical Assisting Program

Are you interested in taking the next step toward becoming a medical assistant? Delta Tech’s medical assistant training is 35 weeks (9 months) and offers both daytime and evening classes. Learn more about our Medical Assisting Program.